electronic pollbook

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North Carolina: Board of Elections asking if North Carolina voting software company was hacked in 2016 | WSOC

The North Carolina State Board of Elections is asking a voting software company if it was hacked by Russian cyber attackers in 2016. The NCSBE wants to know if VR Systems is “Vendor 1” in the Mueller report. The report indicates that russian intelligence successfully “installed malware on the company network.” The letter from NCSBE asks VR Systems for “immediate, written assurance regarding the security” of its network. Nearly two dozen counties in the state used VR Systems in 2016, including Mecklenburg. “What we use it for on is the back end so that we can record provisional ballots, transfers, that sort of stuff that allows us to do it uniformly through 195 different precincts,” Mecklenburg County Board of Election Director Michael Dickerson said. VR Systems is based in Tallahassee and used to have an office in Matthews. Emails to the company were not returned.

Full Article: MUELLER REPORT NC VOTING COMPANY: Mueller Report: NCSBE asking if NC voting software company was hacked in 2016 | WSOC-TV.

New York: Budget allocates $24.7M to improve voting process — publicly funded elections delayed | The Legislative Gazette

Election reformers are seeing mixed results in the new state budget passed this week. On one hand, New Yorkers will now be able to vote before Election Day, register to vote online, and polls will open earlier for upstate primaries. Additionally, employers will be required to give all workers three hours of paid time off to vote, and with a new $14.7 million allocation, voters will be able to sign in at polling places using an electronic sign-in book. The e-poll books keep track of data such as voter registration, voting history and verification and identification of voters. This will bring the state’s system up to date with 21st century technology. More than half of the states in the U.S. use electronic polling books already. On the other hand, many good-government groups and activists are angry that the budget did not establish a system of publicly financed campaigns that rely on a small-donor matching system, coupled with lowered contribution limits. Instead, a commission will study the feasibility of such a system for legislative and statewide offices, and will issue a report in December. Proposed by the Fair Elections for New York campaign, a small-donor matching system would give a voice to New Yorkers who cannot afford to donate large sums of money to political candidates. It is also seen as a system that allows more people to run for political office.

Full Article: Budget allocates $24.7M to improve voting process — publicly funded elections delayed – The Legislative Gazette.

National: Voting tech creates growing concern for local officials | The Hill

Some voters in Johnson County, Ind., found themselves waiting for hours to cast their ballots in last year’s midterm elections, but not because of a massive surge in turnout or malfunctioning voting machines. What struggled to work were the electronic poll books used to check a voter’s registration, triggering long lines at polling stations. A state investigation determined that the vendor for the e-poll books, Election Systems & Software (ES&S), was responsible for the technical issue, and the Johnson County election board ultimately voted to terminate the contract. ES&S is one of the biggest voting machine vendors in the country. And despite the report’s findings, other counties in Indiana have continued to work with it, including some that recently signed new contracts. Experts told The Hill that the scenario underscores the new issues that local election officials have to consider as they juggle the benefits and security risks of voting technology, particularly in light of heightened concerns over election hacking.

Full Article: Voting tech creates growing concern for local officials | TheHill.

New York: Electronic Poll Books Next Step in New York Election Overhaul | Gotham Gazette

As Democrats in the state Legislature continue a rapid pace of passing legislation to start the new session, the state Senate seems poised to advance another round of election and voting reforms, including approving the use of electronic poll books to administer elections. Electronic poll books, used in at least 34 states and the District of Columbia, are a fairly simple but significant instrument in making elections more efficient, experts and advocates argue. They make voting faster, preventing long lines at polling sites, save costs in the long run, and are easier to update and maintain compared to the paper lists currently used in New York. Some advocates also say e-poll books, as they’re often called, are essential in implementing improvements to voter registration processes, which the state Legislature put into motion last month, and helpful in the implementation of the significant shift of early voting, also part of the recently-passed package.

Full Article: Electronic Poll Books Next Step in New York Election Overhaul.

Indiana: Johnson County looks to switch e-poll book vendors, but ES&S won’t pay | Daily Journal

The Johnson County Clerk’s Office is looking into switching e-pollbook vendors before the May primary, but the clock is ticking. Electronic pollbooks, which poll workers use to check in voters at vote centers and make sure they have the right ballot, failed on Election Day, and the county last week asked its long-time vendor, Election Systems and Software, to cover the costs of purchasing new e-pollbooks from a different vendor while continuing to use ES & S’s voting machines. “We have asked (ES & S) to pay for it, but as of right now, they have not committed to that,” County Clerk Trena McLaughlin said on Thursday. “We’re going to have to do something.” McLaughlin and her staff are now weighing the other options because the county needs new e-pollbooks, she said. Election Systems and Software promised it would make things right with the county after it failed more than 52,000 Johnson County voters in November, but so far has not delivered on that promise.

Full Article: County looks to switch e-poll book vendors, but company won’t pay.

Arizona: County Supervisor expresses concerns over ballot software | Kingman Daily Miner

Few people do things perfectly on the first try. There’s a learning curve, whether it’s a gymnast tumbling across an arena floor, a professional baseball player throwing his first pitch … or managing a data system essential to Mohave County’s 2018 General Election. That last example has been a cause for concern with Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson after an almost 36-hour delay in obtaining voter registration data after this year’s election. The delay was caused by e-poll staff unfamiliar with the county’s electronic polling software. Now Johnson has requested reimbursement from e-polling provider Robis Inc. for the county’s lost time. Mohave County began its contract in 2016 with Robis Inc, with the company acting as Mohave County’s vendor for electronic poll books, using a software known as Ask Ed. According to Johnson, data collection from Mohave County’s e-poll book software was seamless in 2016. The previous project manager left Robis in 2018, however, and a new project manager was assigned to Mohave County.

Full Article: Sup. Johnson expresses concerns over ballot software | Kingman Daily Miner | Kingman, AZ.

Arizona: Why new technology at polling sites could be a blessing or a curse this Election Day | Arizona Republic

Experts warn new technology intended to make voting on Election Day faster and easier also comes with new risks that could contribute to the problems it was intended to solve. And some of those experts say the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office hasn’t demonstrated it’s prepared for the myriad things that can go wrong. “Every other jurisdiction that I know of, except for Maricopa it sounds like, has a backup plan … to make sure you’re not just turning voters away or making them stand in line until you figure out what the technical problem is,” said Joe Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology. “It sounds like (the recorder’s office) isn’t doing the right kind of contingency planning.” The recorder’s office has come under scrutiny since August’s primary election when 62 voting centers failed to open on time because the machines used to check in voters at the polling sites, known as electronic “SiteBooks,” hadn’t been set up.

Full Article: How technology could fail Election Day and what's being done to plan.

Rhode Island: Electronic poll books rolling out in Rhode Island | WLNE

A big change is in store for many Rhode Island voters Wednesday as they check in at polling locations. The board of elections gave ABC6 News a demo of the new electronic poll books which will be rolled out. Basically, instead of those old binders with your name and address you’ll just have to present your photo identification. The information is then scanned into an iPad where they verify you’re the right person and in the right place. If you’re not in the right place, the device can text you the address of where you’re supposed to be. Officials say this new technology has been shown to cut down on wait times and increase data accuracy. “You’re information is going to be brought up extremely quickly so that poll workers don’t have to flip through hundreds of pages to try and find your name. It’s going to show up within seconds,” said Rob Rock, Director of Elections with the Secretary of State’s Office.

Full Article: Electronic poll books rolling out in RI - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather.

Rhode Island: New Poll Pad technology set for statewide rollout | The Valley Breeze

Voters in precincts across the state may notice something new when they visit their polling locations to vote in next week’s primary elections. Instead of long, alphabetized lists of registered voters, poll workers will now use digital tablets that can pull up a voter’s information and confirm receipt of a ballot with a simple scan of a photo ID. The technology, called a Poll Pad, was first piloted in select precincts in Rhode Island in 2016 and will be implemented statewide for the first time next week. Poll workers tested out the new system during a training class held at Woonsocket City Hall Aug. 23. As Amy Farrell, a trainer with the Rhode Island Board of Elections, points out, the technology eliminates the need for paper poll books along with much of the human error that can come along with the manual check-in process.

Full Article: New Poll Pad technology set for statewide rollout | The Valley Breeze.

Iowa: Auditor says internet connection issues caused voting delays | Rapid City Journal

Sara Hornick and her husband, Chris, took their children to Southwest Middle School at 8 a.m. Tuesday to showcase the democratic process at work. In the parking lot, a man was shouting. “Turn around. Don’t waste your time. We can’t vote, anyway!” Determined, she continued onward. At the desk where she’d normally verify her registration, a worker told her the electronic device — an e-poll book — wasn’t working. “Any idea when it will be?” she asked. “We have no idea,” the poll worker said, who then suggested she contact the Pennington County auditor. It was a scene taking place at polling places across Rapid City. More than half the voting sites, 16 in all, extended the closing time on Tuesday’s election day to accommodate a late start to ballot-casting thanks to a computer problem: The county-issued Dell Computers that navigated the new e-poll book service were not connecting to the secure hot spots provided by a separate router for each device.

Full Article: Auditor says internet connection issues caused voting delays | News | rapidcityjournal.com.

South Dakota: Software failure mars election night here and in 8 other counties | KOTA

All 44 new electronic poll machines that were supposed to help citizens speed through the check in process at polling precincts failed Tuesday in Pennington County. The massive failure caused major delays in voting — and vote counting. And the glitch hit other counties in the state as well. This election was the first one that the new Electronic Pollbooks were used in every Pennington County precinct. They worked fine during a Rapid City water rate election this year but at 6 a.m. Tuesday election officials knew they had a problem. Poll workers reported that their machines were “timing out” and had to get repeatedly rebooted. They switched to backup paper logs but in 16 precincts the paper logs weren’t on hand and had to be delivered from the County Auditors office.

Full Article: Software failure mars election night here and in 8 other counties.

South Dakota: Election snafus reported statewide | KELO

Secretary of State Shantel Krebs says her office is receiving calls with voters confused about where they vote and what they need to bring for identification for today’s primary. There have also been reports of election glitches in Pennington, Hughes, Brown, and Minnehaha Counties. “You will need to bring with you a photo I.D. card,” Krebs said. “That could be a South Dakota driver’s license, a non-driver I.D. card, a passport, a tribal I.D. card, a current I.D. card issued by a high school or higher education institute of South Dakota.” Krebs is also seeking the GOP nod for U.S. Congress in today’s primary.

Full Article: LISTEN: Election snafus reported statewide | News | KELO Newstalk 1320 107.9.

Australia: Electoral Commission exploring how technology can simplify voting process | ZDNet

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has told a House of Representatives committee that it is looking into a way for its officers to utilise technology to look up the status of citizens at the next federal election in lieu of the dated paper-based method currently employed. The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters heard on Wednesday from AEC representatives, who explained that the government agency is “progressing a series of technical amendments” with the Department of Finance as part of its attempt to modernise the AEC.

Full Article: Electoral Commission exploring how technology can simplify voting process | ZDNet.

Minnesota: Minneapolis Voters Encounter Problems With New E-Poll Books | WCCO

The city of Minneapolis rolled out new technology on Election Day, meant to make the process of voting easier and faster, but some voters encountered a few hiccups. For the first time, the city is using e-poll books which allow election judges to verify voters using iPads instead of bulky paper books. Several voters told WCCO-TV they tried to cast their ballots early Tuesday morning at the Walker Church polling location in Minneapolis, but the iPad used to check voters in was unable to connect to the internet. One voter claims he waited for 20 minutes and had to come back to vote.

Full Article: Minneapolis Voters Encounter Problems With New E-Poll Books « WCCO | CBS Minnesota.

North Carolina: Judge denies challenge of VR Systems election software | Associated Press

With only hours to go before Tuesday’s municipal elections, a trial judge has turned away North Carolina’s effort to avoid using the polling-place software of a company targeted by Russian hackers last year. Lawyers for the state elections board said the Election Day poll book software that VR Systems provides to nearly 30 of North Carolina’s 100 counties hasn’t been officially certified. VR Systems persuaded an administrative law judge last Friday to side with the Florida-based company, which says the software remains approved under the original certification it obtained eight years ago, in October 2009. Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway declined to intervene, deferring to Administrative Law Judge Don Overby’s ongoing oversight of the case, including a proposed hearing set for next spring. The elections board formally asked the state Court of Appeals late Monday to delay the enforcement of Overby’s restraining order and preliminary injunction.

Full Article: Judge denies North Carolina's challenge of election software | News & Observer.

Arizona: Maricopa County takes extreme measures to protect voting systems | KPHO

On the day of the general election in 2016, Maricopa County voters experienced problems at the polls. Some of those problems, according to elections officials, were the result of the “epollbooks” used in the place of paper voter rolls. Officials say the software had trouble handling the sheer number of voters the Phoenix metro area was seeing. “There were several instances of double voting,” said Adrian Fontes, who was elected Maricopa County Recorder that day and has been tasked with figuring out what went wrong. … The president of Robis Elections, the company that provided epoll book services for Maricopa County, told CBS 5 Investigates that his company was not hacked by Russians or anyone else. … But after Fontes took office, he took the drastic measure of ending the contract with Robis and tasking county employees to create a new system from scratch — one that would avoid the problems and alleged security vulnerabilities of the 2016 election.

Full Article: Maricopa County takes extreme measures to protect voting systems - 3TV | CBS 5.

Tennessee: Personal Info of 650,000 Voters Discovered on Electronic Poll Book Sold on Ebay | Gizmodo

When 650 thousand Tennesseans voted in the Memphis area, they probably didn’t expect their personal information would eventually be picked apart at a hacker conference at Caesars Palace Las Vegas. … When US government workers decommission old voting equipment and auction them off to the public, they’re supposed to wipe voter information from the device’s memory. But hackers given access to an ExpressPoll-5000 electronic poll book—the kind of device used to check in voters on Election Day—have discovered the personal records of 654,517 people who voted in Shelby Country, Tennessee. It’s unclear how much of the personal information wasn’t yet public. Some of the records, viewed by Gizmodo at the Voting Village, a collection of real, used voting machines that anyone could tinker with at the DEF CON hacker conference in Las Vegas, include not just name, address, and birthday, but also political party, whether they voted absentee, and whether they were asked to provide identification. 

Full Article: Personal Info of 650,000 Voters Discovered on Poll Machine Sold on Ebay.

Nevada: Voting centers bringing technology upgrade to Clark County elections | Las Vegas Review-Journal

On election days in 2018, Las Vegas Valley voters will have to travel no more than 2 miles to cast a ballot. That’s because Clark County will implement voting centers by the primary election in June 2018. The technology allows voters to cast a valid ballot at any polling location inside Clark County, not just their local precincts. “It’s (like) early voting on Election Day,” County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said during a presentation on Monday night. “You don’t have to race across town at 5 o’clock to get to the voting place designated for you. You can stop anywhere.” County Commissioners voted in April to spend about $1.57 million to implement the new method of voting on Election Day. Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas and Boulder City used voting centers in their 2017 municipal elections.

Full Article: Voting centers bringing technology upgrade to Clark County elections – Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Wisconsin: Election Officials Approve Electronic Poll Books | Associated Press

Poll workers would be able to trade their paper and pens for laptops and printers by next year’s fall elections under a plan Wisconsin election officials approved Tuesday to develop electronic poll books. The state Elections Commission voted unanimously to have its staff develop e-poll book software and offer it to local election clerks on a pilot basis beginning in February. The commission plans to offer the software to clerks statewide by the August 2018 primaries. The project is expected to cost about $124,865 in staff time. Municipalities that decide to use the system would have to purchase hardware such as laptops and printers at a rate of $475 to $970 per voter check-in station at the polls.

Full Article: Wisconsin Election Officials Approve Electronic Poll Books | Wisconsin News | US News.

Wisconsin: Elections Commission to weigh electronic poll books at voting locations | Wisconsin State Journal

The state Elections Commission will weigh whether to help municipalities adopt electronic poll books — record-keeping devices used in lieu of paper rosters at Election Day polling places. The item is on the agenda for the commission’s Tuesday meeting. E-poll books have not been used in Wisconsin, but the commission says they are used in at least 27 states. Like their paper counterparts, the devices contain lists of registered voters in a municipality, as well as voter signatures and other information about voters. If commissioners move toward the use of e-poll books, they could be employed for the fall 2018 election, according to a spokesman for the commission, Reid Magney.

Full Article: Commission to weigh electronic poll books at voting locations | Politics and Elections | host.madison.com.