West Virginia

Articles about voting issues in West Virginia.

West Virginia: Despite Russian Hacking Horror Stories, West Virginia Looks at Blockchain Voting App for Midterms | Crypto Disrupt

United States intelligence agencies have recently warned of possible Russian attempts to interfere with the upcoming midterm elections. Despite these warnings, West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner intends to press ahead with plans to offer West Virginians who are serving overseas in the military with the opportunity to vote via a smartphone app created by Boston company Voatz. … As you can imagine, there are some dissenting voices out there, and one came in the form of Joseph Lorenzo Hall, who is the chief technologist at the Centre for Democracy and Technology who told CNN that “Mobile voting is a horrific idea. It’s internet voting on people’s horribly secured devices, over our horrible networks, to servers that are very difficult to secure without a physical paper record of the vote.”

Full Article: Despite Russian Hacking Horror Stories, US State Looks at Blockchain Voting App for Midterms - Crypto Disrupt.

West Virginia: West Virginia may offer blockchain-based ballots to all of its overseas voters this November | StateScoop

Two months after West Virginia allowed a small group of overseas voters to participate in the May 8 primary election using online ballots powered by blockchain technology, one of the state’s top election’s officials said on Sunday it could be implemented statewide in time for the general election in November. If the results of a post-election audit are favorable toward the new technology, which was offered to voters from two counties during the primary, West Virginia will offer all 55 of its counties to participate in blockchain-powered voting, Donald “Deak” Kersey, the state’s elections director, said at the National Association of Secretaries of State conference in Philadelphia. … Not everyone who watched Kersey’s presentation was convinced that mobile voting is the way to go. “Oh, my god,” said J. Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan who is serving as a technology fellow to Verified Voting, which advocates for ballot security. “Voting over the internet creates extra-difficult problems. Securing servers? Protecting devices? Assuring votes have been recorded while protecting the secret ballot?” Halderman said that no voting technology developed is as secure as in-person paper ballots. He’s testified before Congress on the subject, and has conducted demonstrations in which he hacked electronic voting machines to change tabulations and, in one case, reprogram a machine to play Pac-Man.

Full Article: West Virginia may offer blockchain-based ballots to all of its overseas voters this November.

West Virginia: Dark money tactics used in West Virginia’s primary could spread as midterm season heats up | CNN

A pair of mysterious pop-up super PACs, one with Republican roots and another tied to Democrats, spent more than $3 million in hopes of swaying West Virginia’s GOP Senate primary while keeping their donor lists hidden from voters until after the election. The groups arrived on the scene with blurry names, like “Mountain Families PAC,” but blunt intentions: to quietly use truckloads of outside money to feather their political beds ahead of the November general election. By the time their donors were revealed a few days ago, the primary felt like a distant memory. To do this, the PACs used legal tactics that were nonetheless designed to defy the spirit of current campaign finance law, campaign finance experts say.

Full Article: Dark money tactics used in West Virginia's primary could spread as midterm season heats up - CNNPolitics.

West Virginia: Voter ID Law: Some Say It’s A Balance, Others Say It’s Not Needed At All | West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Having gone into effect at the beginning of this year, West Virginia’s new voter identification law sees its first statewide election during the May 8  primaries. While state legislators responsible for passing the law say it strikes a balance, experts opposed to such measures — here and elsewhere in the country — say it is a “solution in search of a problem.” Some organizations, though, are teaming with the Secretary of State’s office for public outreach programs to help educate voters about the law and what they need to bring with them to the polls. The West Virginia Legislature passed the law during the 2016 regular session. Under the provisions of the new law, voters are required to show an acceptable form of ID to legally make their way to the polls. The aim, according to Republican leaders, was to prevent voter fraud while not burdening those who legitimately want to exercise their constitutional rights.

Full Article: West Virginia's Voter ID Law: Some Say It's A Balance, Others Say It's Not Needed At All | West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

West Virginia: How West Virginia Is Trying to Build Hacker-Proof Voting | The New York Times

The next election in the Mountaineer State was still weeks away. But 5,000 miles from West Virginia’s capital city, in a suburb northwest of Moscow, someone was already scouting for ways to get into the state’s election computer network this spring. That someone’s IP address, a designation as a “malicious host,” even a tiny Russian flag — it was all there on a computer display in an office just across the Kanawha River from the state’s gold-domed capitol. And he had company. “See, right here, a Canadian IP address is trying to go into online voter registration,” said the West Virginia Air National Guard sergeant who was tracking the would-be intruders, pointing at the screen. “Here’s someone from Great Britain trying to do the same. China is trying to get into the home page — trying to, but they’re getting blocked.”

Full Article: How West Virginia Is Trying to Build Hacker-Proof Voting - The New York Times.

West Virginia: Russians Want to Hack Your Election? Call Out the National Guard | Bloomberg

When floods swept through West Virginia polling places during the 2012 presidential election, the National Guard came to the rescue with tents and electrical connections. For the state’s congressional primaries next month, the Guard will be on the lookout for another disaster: Russian interference. West Virginia’s top election official, Republican Secretary of State Mac Warner, has embedded a member of the Air National Guard in his office to scour election networks daily. Short on funds and expertise, a number of Warner’s counterparts across the country are also tapping the Guard to bolster their cybersecurity before November’s midterms.

Full Article: Russians Want to Hack Your Election? Call Out the National Guard - Bloomberg.

West Virginia: Meet the guy paying for West Virginia to run an election on blockchain | StateScoop

Bradley Tusk is best known as the former political operative who invented lobbying for the sharing economy. He’s the guy who claims credit for turning hordes of Uber customers into city-hall picketers whenever the ride-hailing company objected to new taxi regulations in New York, Washington, or a half-dozen other cities. When states tried to crack down on fantasy sports websites that offer daily cash prizes, one of the biggest, Fanduel, hired Tusk to mobilize its user base to hit back at attorneys general. When a local government suggests that the the people who pick up home-improvement jobs through Handy should be classified as employees entitled to benefits, the app calls in Tusk to argue that those workers are independent contractors. … But Tusk’s financial backing and the Warner family’s enthusiasm shouldn’t be taken as proof that elections can be conducted securely over the internet, says Duncan Buell, a computer science professor at the University of South Carolina who focuses on voting systems and election integrity. “I am strongly opposed to electronic voting, and I think the whole notion of internet voting is completely nuts,” Buell says. “There are a number of issues that come up. The first is authentication. How do you verify who’s at the other end?”

Full Article: Meet the guy paying for West Virginia to run an election on blockchain.

West Virginia: Secretary of State tests secure mobile voting app for military personnel | The Hill

West Virginia is testing a new secure mobile voting application to help active-duty military members vote in the upcoming May primary election. Secretary of State Mac Warner (R) announced the pilot program on Wednesday afternoon. It will initially be limited to military voters and their spouses and children who are registered to vote in Harrison and Monongalia counties. However, the state plans to expand the program to all 55 counties in the upcoming November general election if the pilot proves successful. 

Full Article: West Virginia tests secure mobile voting app for military personnel | TheHill.

West Virginia: Redistricting bill sent to House floor without independent commission | Charleston Gazette-Mail

A House of Delegates committee sent a bill to the floor Wednesday that would change the factors legislators use when drawing political district lines after each decennial census. The bill does not, however, create an independent commission to handle the redistricting process, as had been the original reason for drafting the updated House Bill 2383. Delegate Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha, introduced an amendment to the bill that would have formed an independent commission. His amendment was essentially a reincarnation of a draft that a subcommittee killed last week. His amendment failed on a party-line vote.

Full Article: Redistricting bill sent to House floor without independent commission | Politics | wvgazettemail.com.

West Virginia: House passes single-member district bill; subcommittee reviews redistricting bill | Charleston Gazette-Mail

The West Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill Monday that could fundamentally alter the chamber’s political and electoral landscape. House Bill 4002 would nix the state’s reliance on multimember districts, where residents in certain areas vote for more than one delegate, yielding more than one winner. Following the decennial census, the bill would compel the Legislature to draw 100 single-member districts. In West Virginia’s 67 House districts, 11 of those districts have two members, six districts have three members, two districts have four members, and one district has five members. The vote passed 72-25. Of the 25 “no” votes, only three came from delegates who represent single-member districts: Phillip Diserio, D-Brooke; Ed Evans, D-McDowell; and Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton. Fifty-three delegates serve in multimember districts.

Full Article: House passes single-member district bill; subcommittee reviews redistricting bill | Politics | wvgazettemail.com.

West Virginia: Election redistricting bill goes to House subcommittee | Charleston Gazette Mail

West Virginia House of Delegates Judiciary Committee Chairman John Shott, R-Mercer, established a subcommittee Wednesday to rework a bill that would create an independent commission to draw voter redistricting lines following the decennial census. In previous years, legislators have used updated information from the census to redraw their own district lines. House Bill 2383, sponsored by Delegate John Overington, R-Berkeley, puts together an independent redistricting commission, to bar politicians from picking and choosing their voters. However, the text of the bill does not spell out any specifics regarding who would serve on this commission, how they would be appointed or who — if anyone — would pay for it.

Full Article: Election redistricting bill goes to WV House subcommittee | Legislative Session | wvgazettemail.com.

West Virginia: Judiciary committee passes single-member redistricting plan to House floor | Charleston Gazette Mail

The West Virginia House Judiciary Committee sent a bill to the chamber floor Monday designed to reorganize the state into 100, single-member House districts during the decennial redistricting process. During the debate, the committee also voted down an amendment to the bill that would have compelled the Legislature to appoint an independent, nonpartisan committee to handle the redistricting, which is typically executed by legislators themselves. The bill passed on a party-line vote of 16 to 8, with Democrats in the minority. Delegate John Overington, R-Berkeley, sponsored the single-member redistricting plan, House Bill 4002, which would fundamentally change the electioneering mechanics of several House districts, especially those in urban pockets of the state, starting in 2022.

Full Article: Judiciary committee passes single-member redistricting plan to House floor | Politics | wvgazettemail.com.

West Virginia: Secretary of State Warner calls for election cyber vigilance | Martinsburg Journal

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner says officials need to take a proactive role to insure the integrity of our political elections. Speaking before the Berkeley County Council on Thursday, Warner said relentless media coverage reporting Russian hacking of recent American elections may have eroded citizen confidence, and consequently affect voter turnout. “If you keep one person away from registering to vote because they don’t want their information captured somewhere, or if they keep one person from voting, because they think somehow my vote isn’t going to matter, then they’ve eroded that confidence and they’re attacking the very fundamental foundations of our democracy — which is our electoral process,” Warner said.

Full Article: Secretary of State Warner calls for election cyber vigilance | News, Sports, Jobs - Journal News.

West Virginia: Secretary of State’s Office sends notices to outdated voter registrations | The Independent Herald

In an effort to keep the state’s voter registration rolls as up to date as possible, the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office on Aug. 9 mailed about 130,000 postcards to registered voters whose addresses have been flagged as outdated. By updating voter registrations, West Virginia Elections Director Donald Kersey said the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office is not only complying with the duties outlined in the National Voter Registration Act but is also ensuring the integrity of any election. … Kersey said the roughly 130,000 registered voters represent about 11 percent of the total population of registered voters. He added that by updating the state’s voter registration rolls, the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office is able to get an accurate picture of voter turnout.

Full Article: Secretary of State's Office sends notices to outdated voter registrations | Pi News | williamsondailynews.com.

West Virginia: Legislator pushes bill to recall elected officials | Charleston Gazette-Mail

Less than a week has passed since Gov. Jim Justice switched his registration to the Republican Party, and one state Senate Democrat is already thinking about the path to a recall vote. Sen. Richard Ojeda, D-Logan, is drumming up support for a bill he wants to introduce in the next legislative session that would give citizens power to vote officials out of office during their term. “This isn’t a Republican-against-Democrat bill,” Ojeda said. “This is basically saying that any elected official in the state of West Virginia who is not living up to their promises and doing right by the people, the people should have a right to fire them. We always say that we work for you, the people. Well, if we work for the people, the people should have a right to fire us.”

Full Article: Charleston Gazette-Mail | Pulitzer Prize-winning West Virginia news | WV legislator pushes bill to recall politicians.

West Virginia: Mac Warner Wants Info on Russian Hacking in West Virginia Election | The Intelligencer

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner is seeking national security clearance for himself and at least one of his office employees after U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials told him the state’s election system was accessed by Russian hackers last year. Federal officials recently told Warner West Virginia’s voting system was among those in 21 states reached by Russian hackers last year. There is no evidence at the state level showing the system was hacked, or that any election information was accessed or altered, according to Warner. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security have not been able to provide secretaries of state any detailed information about how the cyberattacks occurred because of high-level security issues, but Warner said security clearance and information about possible hackings is necessary for secretaries of state so these issues can be addressed and rectified.

Full Article: Mac Warner Wants Info on Russian Hacking in West Virginia Election | News, Sports, Jobs - The Intelligencer.

West Virginia: Secretary of State Warner: ‘No intention’ of sharing voter data | Huntingdon Herald-Dispatch

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner has no intention of releasing personal information of West Virginia voters to a White House commission investigating President Donald Trump’s allegations of voter fraud, a spokesman said Monday. Warner’s office received a request from the commission on July 3 requesting voter information as a part of the investigation, said Michael Queen, Warner’s deputy chief of staff for external affairs and director of communications. Warner, a Republican, has been consulting with legal counsel and Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey before responding to the commission’s request, and he’s expected to make a decision Wednesday or Thursday, Queen said Monday.

Full Article: Warner: 'No intention' of sharing WV voter data | News | herald-dispatch.com.

West Virginia: Secretary of State Mac Warner, clerks purge voters rolls | WV MetroNews

Secretary of State Mac Warner released some stunning figures this week during an appearance on MetroNews Talkline; the names of 47,490 outdated and ineligible voters have been removed from the voter rolls just since he took office. Warner’s office and county clerks used the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) to clean up the rolls. ERIC allows participating states to compare voter eligibility records using voter registration and motor vehicle registrations, U.S. Postal Service addresses, and Social Security death records. Those 47,490 names were struck for a variety of reasons.  In the most common instance, a woman changed her name when married, reregistered and was on the rolls twice. Others moved away and registered in another county or state, but remained on the books in their original location.  In other cases voters were never taken off the rolls after they died.

Full Article: WV MetroNews – SoS Mac Warner, clerks purge voters rolls in WV.

West Virginia: House committee sends watered-down voter ID bill to floor | Charleston Gazette-Mail

The House Judiciary Committee sent a bare-bones, edited version of a new voter-identification law to the chamber floor Thursday for consideration by the full West Virginia House of Delegates. The original bill would have required state-issued photo identification to vote, making West Virginia one of the strictest states, in terms of voting standards. However, the new version of the bill only delays last year’s voter identification law — which has not yet been enacted — until July 1, 2019. The new bill also stops a requirement that the Division of Motor Vehicles forward to the Secretary of State’s Office information from anyone who opts out of registering to vote.

Full Article: Charleston Gazette-Mail | WV House committee sends watered-down voter ID bill to floor.

West Virginia: House Judiciary mulls stricter voter ID law | Charleston Gazette-Mail

The House Judiciary Committee worked through a bill Wednesday to require West Virginians to present government-issued photo identification at the polls before casting a ballot. After an hour of discussion, the committee sent the bill (HB 2781) down to a subcommittee for further review. Should it pass, the bill would trump sections of existing legislation (HB 4013), which passed last year and is scheduled to take effect in 2018. That law calls for a lower standard of identification for voters, allowing for bank statements, hunting licenses or having an adult or poll worker vouch for a familiar voter’s identity.

Full Article: Charleston Gazette-Mail | WV House Judiciary mulls stricter voter ID law.