electronic pollbook

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Indiana: New voting machines cause some snags, delays in St. Joseph County elections | Caleb Bauer/South Bend Tribune

The implementation of new voting machines for Tuesday’s election came with hiccups and technical issues in St. Joseph County. Early results showed the wrong number of precincts reporting, technical malfunctions on the iPads used to scan voter IDs caused delays, many poll workers were unfamiliar with the new voting machines, and votes for a write-in candidate in South Bend were not immediately tallied. Still, members of the county Election Board were adamant that the problems didn’t impact vote counts. Rita Glenn, the county clerk and an election board member, said plans are already being put in place to provide more training for poll workers for future elections and to rectify the software issues that surfaced Tuesday. “We need to do a little bit more thorough training and get more people involved,” Glenn said. “Next year will be a bigger election, so we’re going to make sure we’re addressing issues ahead of time.” For about 20 minutes on Tuesday night, the election board’s YouTube live stream of results, which The Tribune and other local media use to release information to the public, showed incorrect tallies of the number of precincts reporting.

Full Article: New voting machines cause some snags, delays in St. Joseph County elections | Local | southbendtribune.com.

Georgia: Previously redacted Georgia election security document made public | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Georgia secretary of state’s office acknowledged Thursday that a vendor had improperly redacted a purchasing document detailing security features of the state’s new $107 million voting system. The unredacted 143-page document was posted on the secretary of state’s website Thursday. The document, which explains “high level security” of the state’s new voting check-in iPads, doesn’t compromise the integrity of the system, according to the secretary of state’s office. The document was made public “in the spirit of good governance and transparency” after the secretary of state’s office was alerted about the redactions, said Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs. “Our new voting system, including new Poll Pads, are our most secure system to date,” Fuchs said. The iPads will be provided by a company called KnowInk, which is working with Dominion Voting Systems to install the new voting technology statewide before the March 24 presidential primary.

Full Article: Previously redacted Georgia election security document made public.

New York: With Under a Month To Go, Board of Elections Mum on Shift to Electronic Poll Books | Ethan Geringer-Sameth/Gotham Gazette

With just one month before New York rolls out early voting for the first time, it is unclear exactly where the city’s Board of Elections stands on acquiring and readying new technology considered essential to the new voting system. BOE commissioners and staff have been discussing the acquisition of electronic poll books at board meetings since January, when the State Legislature passed and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law establishing early voting and authorizing counties to purchase the new tech, which enables implementation of early voting. In June, the State Board of Elections approved three vendors that counties could contract with, and the same month the city BOE appeared to have chosen one. But as of late September, the city board has been silent on its progress toward purchasing the 10,000 e-poll books it says it requires, much less loading them with the voter rolls and training staff to use them.

Full Article: With Under a Month To Go, Board of Elections Mum on Shift to Electronic Poll Books.

Georgia: Check-in computers stolen in Atlanta hold statewide voter data | Mark Niesse and Arielle Kass/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Two computers that are used to check in voters were stolen from a west Atlanta precinct hours before polls opened Tuesday for a city school board election. Officials replaced the computers before voters arrived, and the election wasn’t disrupted, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.The express poll computers contain names, addresses, birth dates and driver’s license information for every voter in the state, said Richard Barron, Fulton County’s elections director. They don’t include Social Security numbers. They are password-protected, and the password changes for every election.The computers, which were in a locked and sealed case, haven’t been recovered.Poll workers discovered the burglary early Tuesday morning at the Grove Park Recreation Center near Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway.Atlanta police said they were first called to the recreation center at 12:30 a.m. on an alarm call. They found an unlocked door but saw no one inside. When election employees arrived, they told police “the kitchen had been ransacked,” a microwave had been moved to a different room, food items were missing and the express poll machines were missing, Atlanta police Sgt. John Chafee said. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he’s concerned about the stolen election equipment. “They may not have realized what they were stealing. They may have just thought they were stealing computer hardware of some sort, but they stole a whole lot more than they thought,” Raffensperger said. “They’re in a whole lot of trouble. There will be a thorough investigation.”

Full Article: Voter check-in computers were stolen from an Atlanta precinct.

Pennsylvania: Elections officials touted new electronic poll books. Now the city says they don’t work right. | Jonathan Lai/Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia was supposed to use new, electronic poll books in its election this November, allowing poll workers to search for voters on an iPad and sign them in electronically, rather than use thick paper books. The change was supposed to reduce human error, and to make checking in voters faster and easier. City officials promised it would to help troubleshoot problems, such as providing correct information to voters who show up in the wrong polling place. It was supposed to, eventually, provide real-time turnout numbers from every polling site across the city. Turns out the system was not ready for prime time. Instead, “the city observed several problems with KNOWiNK’s pollbook system” during a test election conducted last month, the city’s Acting Chief Administrative Officer, Stephanie Tipton, said in a letter Tuesday to the acting board of elections.

Full Article: Philly elections officials touted new electronic poll books. Now the city says they don’t work right..

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.