National: Multistate voter database suspended in lawsuit settlement | Roxana Hegeman/Associated Press

A much-criticized database that checks whether voters are registered in multiple states has been suspended “for the foreseeable future” until security safeguards are put in place as part of a settlement of a federal lawsuit, a civil rights group said Tuesday. The Interstate Crosscheck program was the subject a class-action lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas on behalf of 945 voters whose partial Social Security numbers were exposed by Florida officials through an open records request. Kansas has operated the multistate program since 2005, although the program hasn’t been used since 2017 when a Homeland Security audit discovered security vulnerabilities. The settlement includes a list of safeguards the state has agreed to implement to protect voter’s personal information before the program can resume, the ACLU said in a news release.

Illinois: State drops out of controversial Crosscheck anti-voter fraud program | HOIABC

The Illinois State Board of Elections voted 8-0 on Tuesday to remove Illinois from Crosscheck, a controversial multi-state anti-voter fraud program. The program was started by Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska in 2005, with the goal of cross-referencing voter rolls to identify duplicate voter registrations. The program was spearheaded by former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who also served on President Donald Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The commission was later disbanded without issuing a report on voter fraud. Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich said the main reason Illinois is withdrawing from the Kansas-administered Crosscheck is to create a new data sharing agreement with Indiana.

Missouri: Voter Crosscheck may wrongly purge Missouri voters from voting rolls | St. Louis American

U.S. citizens across the country soon will vote on all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, for 35 U.S. senators and three dozen governorships. The House of Representatives and possibly the Senate are up for grabs. Given the high stakes, voters would do well to check at least a month ahead of time with their local board of elections to see if they’re still registered to vote. This is especially true for people of color. The reason is that millions could find their right to vote challenged or taken away under suspicion that they’re trying to vote more than once, largely due to 26 states using the Interstate Voter Crosscheck system, which compares lists of voters in different states and challenges the registration of those whose names come up more than once.

Illinois: Despite Hacking Concerns, Governor Won’t Pull Illinois From Voter Database | Governing

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner said Monday that he doesn’t see “any reason” for Illinois to end its participation in a controversial multistate voter registration system, which critics have called inaccurate and vulnerable to hackers. Rauner’s remarks came one day before he faces a deadline to act on a bill that would withdraw Illinois from the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. The database is run through the Kansas secretary of state’s office and is aimed at flagging duplicate voter registrations across state lines. “I don’t see any reason why we should get out of that as a state,” the governor said at an unrelated appearance about gun control.

Kansas: Security Concerns Stall Kris Kobach’s Controversial Voter Tracking Program in Kansas | KMUW

A massive voter-tracking program run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — which purports to help states keep voter rolls accurate — has halted operations over concerns about its own accuracy and security. The Interstate Crosscheck system, which Kobach’s office promised would be working ahead of the 2018 elections, has been sidelined while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducts a security assessment following the unintended release of hundreds of voters’ private information. Each year, the Crosscheck program compares voter registration lists from more than two dozen states, searching for duplicate names. The stated goal is to prevent people from voting in more than one state and eliminate voter fraud — although being registered to vote in two states is not illegal. Crosscheck then sends a list of duplicate names to each participating state, the first step in a long process of voter list maintenance.

New Hampshire: Database flags 142 possible voter fraud cases, not Trump’s ‘thousands’ | Associated Press

Fewer than 150 of the nearly 95,000 New Hampshire names flagged by a multistate voter registration database represent cases of possible fraud, the secretary of state said Tuesday. The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program is aimed at preventing voter fraud by identifying duplicate voter registration records among those voluntarily provided by states. New Hampshire was among 28 participants last year, though some states have dropped out or are re-evaluating the program amid criticism that it results in false matches and doesn’t properly protect personal information. After the 2016 general election, the system flagged 94,610 New Hampshire voters whose first and last names and dates of birth matched those in other states. That amounts to about 1 in 9 voters, but officials eliminated all but 142 of the matches after taking a closer look at middle names and other information, including the marked checklists maintained by poll workers. Of the 142, officials have sent 51 to the attorney general’s office for investigation and are waiting for information from other states on the rest, Secretary of State Bill Gardner told the Ballot Law Commission.

Editorials: Crosscheck is ineffective and insecure. But states aren’t withdrawing | Aaron Sankin/Salon

At least eight states have stopped using Kansas’ anti-voter fraud program because of its ineffectiveness, but put citizens’ personal data at risk by not formally withdrawing. The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program was supposed to help states scrub ineligible voters, but many states have for years found the program’s data to be inaccurate and burdensome to verify. Rather than immediately cancelling the free program, these states continued to send sensitive voter information — in one case, for nearly a full decade — through a system with serious cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Sending data through this insecure system had the potential of opening up millions of American citizens to identity theft. Based on interviews with state election officials and communications obtained through public record requests, the following states have sent voter registration data to Crosscheck without using the analysis received in return to clean their voter lists: South Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Louisiana and Colorado. None of the states listed have submitted voter data into the Crosscheck program since these cybersecurity vulnerabilities were made public late last year.

Kentucky: Eighth State Quietly Quit Free Anti-Voter-Fraud Program Over Security Concerns and ‘Unreliable’ Results | Gizmodo

The State of Kentucky has pulled out of the Interstate Crosscheck System, Gizmodo has learned, making it the eighth state to quit the program so far—even though it cost nothing to participate. A source with direct knowledge of the decision told Gizmodo that Kentucky never used the data that it received from Crosscheck for the purpose of purging voter rolls because the data was “unreliable.” Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Grimes also expressed concern about the security of the program, the source said. Kentucky officially quit Crosscheck in June but made no official announcement at the time. A tweet by Grimes last week about Kentucky not submitting voter data to Crosscheck initially puzzled activists who were unaware of the state’s decision.

National: States Waiting To Share Voter Data While Kansas Shores Up Security | KCUR

Some states fear that a Kansas voter record system could fall prey to hackers, prompting a delay in the annual collection of nearly 100 million people’s records into a database scoured for double-registrations. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach touts the program, called Crosscheck, as a tool in combating voter fraud. Last year, 28 states submitted voters’ names, birth dates, and sometimes partial social security numbers, to Kobach’s office. But last fall, the news outlets ProPublica and Gizmodo reported a raft of cybersecurity weaknesses. For instance, Crosscheck relied on an unencrypted server for transmitting all that data.

Kansas: Kobach’s office will delay data uploads for Crosscheck voter system to accommodate security review | The Topeka Capital-Journal

Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office will postpone the initial uploading of voter registration data from other states to the Kansas-based Interstate Crosscheck System while it reviews the program’s cybersecurity, a state official said Wednesday. Bryan Caskey, director of elections in Kobach’s office, told members of the House Elections Committee the Kansas secretary of state’s office began reviewing security protocols for all its election processes in October 2016 due to national concerns over cybersecurity in voting systems. The Crosscheck program, which compares registrations across states to identify duplicate registrants and voters, has come under scrutiny for what critics claim are possible vulnerabilities of its data. Each year, states participating in Crosscheck upload data from their voter rolls for Kansas to compare with other member states and identify duplicates. Caskey said that process typically begins around Jan. 15 and takes a few weeks, but the window isn’t open yet.

Illinois: State delays sending voter data to multi-state program | Associated Press

Illinois will postpone submitting fresh voter information to a controversial multi-state voter registration database because the Kansas-based program has not offered updated security plans, election officials confirmed Tuesday. The move comes as several states debate ending their participation in the free and voluntary Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. It was designed in 2005 as a way to help four neighboring states share information and clean voter rolls by making sure voters weren’t registered in more than one state. The program has grown to include about two dozen states, including Illinois, which began submitting information in 2011.

New Hampshire: Senate Democrats push for New Hampshire withdrawal from voter database program | Concord Monitor

Senate Democrats are taking aim at New Hampshire’s participation in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, pressing for the state to pull out of a system they say is deeply flawed. At a Senate election law committee hearing Tuesday on a withdrawal bill, Democrats and voting advocacy groups argued that the program – in which about 30 states share voter information to prevent double-voting across state lines – is inaccurate and insecure. First initiated by the Kansas secretary of state in 2005, Crosscheck requires participating states to send voter registration data to the Kansas office, which then collates the names in a database. Any records sent to the office that match the first name, last name and birthday of a registered voter in another state are then sent back to both states, allowing them to examine the records and determine whether the voter is still a resident there.

Illinois: State elections board says Kansas-based voter database not up to task | The Rock River Times

The Illinois State Board of Elections this week said it would not be sending voter data for entry into a Kansas-based registry supported by the Trump administration, citing security concerns. The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, designed by Kansas election officials, supposedly collects and parses information on voter rolls around the country. Driven by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a top figure in President Donald Trump’s recently disbanded “Voter Fraud Commission,” Crosscheck has come under fire for potentially exposing the personal data of more than 100 million voters. ISBE officials cited a lack of security measures in the Crosscheck system in declining to take part in the program. The board had originally indicated that it would begin sending data in January.

National: States raise security concerns about Crosscheck voter database during call with Kobach’s office | Lawrence Journal World

Officials from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office conducted a conference call Thursday with election officials from several other states to discuss concerns about the Crosscheck program, a multistate database of voter registration information that Kansas manages and that some critics have said is not secure. Bryan Caskey, director of elections in the secretary of state’s office, confirmed Thursday that the conference call took place, but he said the issue of security concerns only came up “at a very high level.” “I would describe it as more of a kickoff conference call that we do at the start of every election year,” Caskey said. The Crosscheck database was originally launched in the early 2000s when Ron Thornburgh served as secretary of state.

Illinois: Lawmakers tackle controversial voter registration system | Associated Press

Democratic state lawmakers are introducing a plan to halt Illinois’ participation in a controversial multi-state voter registration database. It’s the latest move after efforts to persuade the State Board of Elections failed. The plan unveiled Thursday would remove Illinois from the Kansas-run Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. Voter groups argue Crosscheck isn’t secure and could lead to voter suppression elsewhere. They also raise questions about Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who oversees Crosscheck and is a chairman of President Donald Trump’s election fraud commission.

Kansas: Kobach’s office reviewing security of Crosscheck database and possible cost of upgrades | Lawrence Journal World

The chief election officer in Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office said Tuesday that a multistate voter registration database that Kansas manages is being thoroughly reviewed for security concerns, but it is unknown whether Kansas will have to foot the bill to upgrade the system. “I legitimately do not know the answer to that yet,” Bryan Caskey said during a phone interview Tuesday. “We’re still evaluating all options, and one of the options is cost.” The Kansas secretary of state’s office manages a database known as the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, which contains voter registration information for millions of voters in more than 25 states. In some cases, those records include the last four digits of the voter’s Social Security number.

Illinois: Divided vote keeps Illinois in Crosscheck voter database | Chicago Tribune

The State Board of Elections on Monday rejected an effort to remove Illinois from the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, leaving the state in a controversial system aimed at flagging voters registered in multiple states. The 4-4 split along partisan lines pitted election officials’ desires to have accurate voter rolls against concerns the system can be inaccurate and vulnerable to hackers looking for personal information — with a dash of political intrigue on the side. Republicans voted against leaving the system at Monday’s election board meeting, and Democrats were for it. Illinois is among more than two dozen states participating in the program known as Crosscheck. But the program has drawn increasing criticism after other states have wiped out voter registrations based solely on its findings without following procedures spelled out in federal voting rights laws. Because Monday’s vote was tied, the state remains in the program

Illinois: Democratic lawmakers urge end to controversial cross-state voter check | Chicago Tribune

Democrats on a legislative panel Wednesday urged state elections officials to quickly remove Illinois from a controversial interstate voter registration program amid warnings it is unreliable and vulnerable to hacking, threatening to act on their own if they don’t. “For months now it has been very obvious that millions of Illinoisans’ personal data is at risk because of our participation in this program,” state Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, said at a joint state House and Senate committee hearing on the topic. “As soon as possible, the (State Board of Elections) should say the logical thing, which is, ‘We cannot participate in this program because it is putting Illinois at risk.’ ” Illinois is among a number of states evaluating participation in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, conducted through the Kansas secretary of state’s office that is aimed at flagging duplicate voter registrations across state lines.

Idaho: Secretary of State to reevaluate participating in voter fraud program | Associated Press

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney announced Tuesday he’s reevaluating the state’s involvement in a longtime multistate voter registration database. Denney says that his office has received hundreds of emails from citizens raising concerns about Idaho’s involvement in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. “I don’t think anything has been compromised up to this point,” Denney said. “But we have questions about the security and we need to get answers to that before we make the decision to participate again or not.”

Illinois: Debate Over Crosscheck Voter Data Program Reaches Into Illinois | WNIJ

Federal election law requires states to keep accurate and up-to-date voter registration rolls. But one tool to help them do so is at the center of a partisan debate. In Illinois, many Democrats are calling on the state Board of Elections to stop participation in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, or Crosscheck, for short. Illinois is one of about 28 states that share voter registration data with Crosscheck, which uses it to look for voters who are registered at more than one address.

Idaho: Kobach’s Voter Crosscheck has Idaho history of false alerts | Idaho Statesman

Ada County elections employees have been leery of the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program since 2014 — the year they got burned by it. It was Idaho’s first year as a member. Ada County received a list of possible duplicate voter registrations and began to revoke several thousand of them, including then-West Ada School District Superintendent Linda Clark, radio personality Ken Bass and former U.S. Attorney and prominent Democrat Betty Richardson. Those voters began to call. What appeared to be duplicate records, weren’t at all. When the county realized it was in error, it quickly halted the revocations. Because of the Crosscheck program’s decentralized approach and a lack of feedback, it’s hard to tell its value to Idaho. But a look at what is known suggests it causes more problems than it catches — and it’s not clear that it’s helped catch any Idaho voter fraud that led to a conviction. … This year, 28 states — including Idaho — sent 98.5 million voter registration records to Kobach and Crosscheck. Those included such personal data as birth dates and partial Social Security numbers.

Idaho: Election employees raise concerns on voter fraud program | McClatchy

Elections employees are raising concerns about an interstate program meant to detect voter fraud in Idaho that they said has led to errors. Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck program was launched in the state in 2014, the Idaho Statesman reported Sunday. The program compares voter registration records — which contain personal information such as birth dates and partial Social Security numbers — from its state members to find people who vote in more than one state. In its first year the program identified several thousands of possible duplicate voter registrations which Ada County elections employees later found were errors after voters called to complain about the pending revocations.

Idaho: Secretary of State gives private voter data to group with lax security | Idaho Statesman

Much ado was made earlier this year when the Trump administration asked all 50 states for their voter-registration rolls. Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney told Kris Kobach, vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, that the commission could have only the voter registration information available under Idaho law — name, address, party affiliation and election-participation history. Denney assured the public that other personal information collected on Idaho’s voter registration forms — a voter’s date of birth, driver’s-license number and the last four digits of the Social Security number — is not releasable under Idaho’s public records law. Kobach, he said, could not have it. In fact, Denney had already given it to Kobach. In February, Denney gave Kobach information on all registered Idaho voters, including two pieces of voters’ non-public personal information — their birth dates and abbreviated Social Security numbers. And that was not the first time. Kobach received the same information about Idaho voters in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Why did this happen?