The United States urged the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday to scrap plans to use electronic voting for the first time in elections this year, saying it risked undermining the credibility of the historic polls. After much delay, the DR Congo will hold elections on December 23 that are expected to pave the way to the first peaceful transfer of power in the vast mineral-rich country, ending President Joseph Kabila’s 17-year-rule. US Ambassador Nikki Haley told a Security Council informal meeting that the election commission’s plan to use electronic voting for the first time posed “an enormous risk. These elections must be held by paper ballot so there is no question by the Congolese people about the result,” said Haley. “The US has no appetite to support an electronic voting system.”
Bulgaria: Electoral authority to ask MPs to defer introduction of electronic voting | The Sofia Globe
Bulgaria’s Central Election Commission (CEC) tabled a report to the country’s National Assembly recommending that MPs postpone the introduction of electronic voting, which currently is slated to be used for the first time in the European Parliament elections in May 2019. Although CEC did not make its report public, several media reports said that CEC made its recommendation based on several simulations of electronic voting.
DR Congo’s long-delayed election due on December 23 to choose a successor to long-serving ruler Joseph Kabila will not take place without electronic voting machines, the poll chief said Tuesday. “Without voting machines, there will be no elections on December 23, 2018,” election commission head Corneille Nangaa told AFP, speaking on phone from New York. The threat came a day after the United States, France, Britain and four other UN Security Council members called on Kabila to publicly declare that he will not run for election this year.
Georgia: Legislation would replace Georgia electronic voting with paper | Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Elections in Georgia could return to paper ballots. A bill recently introduced in the Georgia General Assembly calls for the state to scrap its 16-year-old touch-screen voting system and replace it with a paper-based system. Paper ballots, used by about 70 percent of the nation, are more secure than electronic machines because they can’t be hacked, said state Rep. Scot Turner, the sponsor of House Bill 680. Currently, Georgia’s 27,000 touch screens leave no paper record of how people voted, making it impossible to audit elections for accuracy or to conduct verifiable recounts.
The Australian Electoral Commission’s (AEC’s) handling of the nation’s 2016 election was deeply flawed, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has found. The auditor’s investigation was kicked off after the 2016 double-dissolution election, which introduced at short notice optional preferential voting for Australia’s Senate. The AEC anticipated a complex count, and in March 2016 had begun work on a system to automate the Senate count, but its timetable was foreshortened by the early election. That set off a chain of events that resulted in wasted money and security failures, the auditor has found.
DR Congo’s electoral body trumpeted on Tuesday the arrival of the first voting machines from South Korea for long-delayed elections that the government has pledged to hold in December. The vote is supposed to bring about the belated departure of President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, who was supposed to step down last year but postponed the polls. But it remains unclear if the 45 million Congolese voters who registered in 2017 will finally get to choose a new president, deputies and elected representatives in the vote set for December 23, 2018. “The first lot of eight voting machines were received today for the purpose of civic and electoral education of the Congolese,” said the National Electoral Commission (CENI), adding that the devices would help reduce election fraud.
Calgary could see 2021 voting relief in the form of tabulators, electronic poll books and voter assist terminals after October’s civic election debacle. A report coming to council Monday outlines some of the challenges, including ballot shortages, a crashed website and results that trickled – all leaving citizens frustrated, politicos sweating and the media cursing. Calgary’s returning officer and city clerk, Laura Kennedy, is pushing for a deeper look into modernizing Calgary election system, recommending that her department be tasked with creating a four-year plan leading up to the next civic election.
Computer Scientist who prefers paper. That is how the American magazine The Atlantic described her earlier this year. Having worked at IBM for long, Barbara Simons (76) is among the pioneers in computer science. When, therefore, she began saying that electronic voting was not safe, people took her to be a ‘crank’. But undeterred, Simons became one of the founders of American organization Verified Voters, which has been in the forefront of the movement to replace machines with paper ballots in American elections. … Simons is skeptical about steps taken by tech companies to enhance cyber security. Pointing out that all 50 states in the USA use computerised scanners for vote counting, she claimed that few states had a system of post-editing auditing to detect manipulation. “Mandatory audits, in the form of hand counts of randomized samplings of ballots, are essential to protect against invisible vote theft,” Simons said, adding, “in an unaudited system, malicious code could easily go unnoticed. “It’s not rocket science,” she said. “Any halfway-decent programmer could do it.”
A bill that would let voters casting in-person absentee ballots use an electronic voting machine is getting widespread support from municipal clerks, who argue the change would reduce costs while increasing public confidence.
Currently, those voting absentee in person must fill out paper ballots, seal them in an envelope and sign the envelope. They then aren’t opened and tallied until Election Day, a timeline some clerks and the bill’s author argued strains poll workers and taps into local resources. Under the bill from Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls, those ballots still wouldn’t be tallied until Election Day, although municipal clerks would have to post a daily tally of ballots cast – if the municipalities opted into giving its voters the option to cast ballots that way. “This is really just about instead of putting it in an envelope, you as a voter have the opportunity to feed it into a machine,” Brandtjen said Nov. 28 at an Assembly public hearing on the legislation.
Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is useless unless a statistically significant number of VVPATS are manually counted after the election to ascertain that they functioned properly, say two American computer scientists who believe that the only safe election technology is the ‘paper ballot’. In other words, the Election Commission’s provision of testing VVPATs at just ONE polling booth in each constituency is not good enough to inspire confidence.National Herald on Sunday asked two pioneers engaged in advocacy for election integrity in the United States, Barbara Simons and Mark Halvorson to comment on the controversy over Electronic Voting Machines in India. While Simons, a computer scientist who worked for IBM, was one of the founders of the non-profit Verified Voting (verifiedvoting.org), Halvorson continues to be on its board of advisors. He was also the founder and former director of Citizens for Election Integrity, Minnesota (US) and helped organize the first national Audit Summit in the United States in 2007.