Florida

Articles about voting issues in Florida.

Florida: Voters unregistering from fear of Trump voter-data panel? | Palm Beach Post

Local elections officials are trying to talk voters out of unregistering, as privacy concerns continue to mount in response to a special commission created by President Donald Trump. Fears about data breaches and identity theft — or flat-out aversion to what many perceive as a Big Brother-ish information gathering activity — continued even as a representative of the commission on Monday told state officials not to provide the voter data previously requested. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner was among the state officials who received the missive from Andrew Kossack, the designated federal officer for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Read More

Florida: Thousands wait decades to regain the right to vote | Tampa Bay Times

Adam McCracken has a Ph.D., practices psychology in Orlando and is married with two sons. But for 25 years, the state of Florida said he couldn’t be a full-fledged citizen because of a long-ago drug conviction. McCracken served 10 months in a federal prison and five years on probation for possession with intent to distribute LSD. It was a serious mistake. It happened in 1991. He was 21. The case is so old that a Google search turns up nothing. The state of Florida allows McCracken to practice psychology. But he can’t vote. A law-abiding citizen for 26 years, he wants to bury his past. But the state won’t let him. Read More

Florida: Local elections officials trying to convince some registered voters to stay registered | News-Press

Local elections officials are trying to talk voters out of unregistering, as privacy concerns continue to mount in response to a special commission created by President Donald Trump. Fears about data breaches and identity theft — or flat-out aversion to what many perceive as a Big Brother-ish information gathering activity — continued even as a representative of the commission on Monday told state officials not to provide the voter data previously requested. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner was among the state officials who received the missive from Andrew Kossack, the designated federal officer for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Read More

Florida: Worried voters try to unregister after Trump voter-roll request | Orlando Sentinel

Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Michael Ertel got 15 calls from voters wanting to “unregister” to vote after the state said it would comply with part of a federal commission’s request for voters’ personal data. Ultimately, he convinced all who called to stay on the voter rolls. He says concerns over personal data being given to the federal panel are overblown because the state is only giving what is already available to the public. “You can’t pick and choose which public-records requests you comply with because you’re not sure about what the person’s going to do with the information,” Ertel said. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner on Thursday wrote to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, saying the state couldn’t give partial Social Security numbers, driver’s license information, criminal histories or personal data for police officers, judges and prosecutors because such information was exempt from Florida’s public records laws. Read More

Florida: Push to restore Florida felon voting rights gains steam, but obstacles remain | Orlando Sentinel

Desmond Meade of Orlando has traveled from the Panhandle to Miami, all for the cause of restoring voting rights to 1.6 million non-violent ex-felons such as himself. But there is so much more to do. “I’ve put over 150,000 miles on my car,” said Meade, the head of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. “Whether it’s the rural parts of the state or the urban centers, the message is the same. … Second chances. That’s what it’s all about.” Meade, a former addict convicted on drug and firearm charges in 2001 who later earned a law degree, successfully gathered more than 70,000 verified signatures for his petition to place an amendment to the Florida constitution, which then triggered a review by the state Supreme Court. But despite the successful hearing, in which the court allowed the process to proceed, Meade and his group still have a momentous challenge ahead. Read More

Florida: New online voter registration system is on pace for an official launch Oct. 1 | Bradenton Herald

Two years in the making, Florida’s new online voter registration system is on pace for an official launch on Oct. 1, as the Legislature directed in the 2015 session. It’s the most significant change in voter registration in years in Florida, and most county election supervisors got their first close-up look at the system Wednesday at their statewide conference in Davenport. Reviews were generally favorable, but growing concerns about cybersecurity were also heard. “It works,” Escambia Supervisor of Elections David Stafford said. Paul Lux of Okaloosa said he was pleased with how the system will function. Stafford, Lux and supervisors Wesley Wilcox in Marion and Chris Chambless in Clay all participated in dry-run tests last month. Read More

Florida: Security threats on voting system loom as Florida’s elections officials gather in Polk County | Tampa Bay Times

Voting experts in Florida, the national epicenter of electoral suspense, have one concern above all others as they prepare for the 2018 election. Click. Cybersecurity. Efforts by Russian hackers to attack computers in Florida last fall failed, but shed light on potential vulnerabilities of an election system managed locally and in mostly small counties with limited technological resources. “It’s the main topic of conversation,” Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark said at a conference of election supervisors. “I just don’t think you can have too many people looking at this stuff.” As Clark and dozens of her colleagues mingled at the Omni Champions Gate near Walt Disney World on Tuesday, they said they are more security-conscious than ever. On Thursday, officials will attend a seminar titled “Election Integrity in the Current Political and Media Environment.” Read More

Florida: Hackers attacked 4 Florida school districts, allegedly hoped to hack voting systems | Network World

We’ve heard a lot about Russians attackers attempting to hack the US election, but another hacking group also allegedly wanted to interfere with the election; they attempted to pivot from compromised school districts to state voting systems. The Miami Herald reported that MoRo, a group of hackers based in Morocco, penetrated “at least four Florida school district networks” and purportedly searched for a way “to slip into other sensitive government systems, including state voting systems.” According to United Data Technologies (UDT), the firm which investigated the breaches “incidents,” the hackers successfully phished people working in the school districts, tricking them into clicking on an image in email which allowed malware into the system. The article does note that the hackers also targeted an unnamed Florida city network with a similar attack. Read More

Florida: Election officials: Campaign year drew hacking attempts, other suspicious activity | USA Today

State and local election officials across the country reported numerous hacking alerts last year from suspicious emails sent to their systems. At least eight Florida counties received one tied to what U.S. intelligence officials said was a Russian effort to disrupt the presidential campaign. Election officials contacted by the USA TODAY NETWORK said there were no successful hacks into their voting systems or offices. But some noted that suspicious activity directed through a Tallahassee-based election software company came amid a flurry of other threats routinely blocked by election offices.  Read More

Florida: Phishing expedition: At least 5 Florida counties targeted by Russian election hack | Tampa Bay Times

Russian hackers tried to break into the computer systems of at least five Florida county elections offices days before the 2016 presidential election, according to five county officials who say they received malicious emails described in a leaked intelligence report. Election supervisors in Hillsborough, Pasco, Citrus and Clay counties separately told the Times/Herald their offices got the emails, which contained attachments that could have taken over their computers. But all four said their staffers did not open them. Volusia County said it opened one of the infected emails, but not the attachment that could have compromised its systems. There’s been no evidence disclosed publicly that any counties were breached. It’s not clear how many counties were targeted, in Florida or across the country. The Times/Herald sent requests for the emails to all 67 elections offices in the state. Nineteen replied back that they searched for them and couldn’t find any. Read More