North Carolina: Elections board may pick new voting machine options Sunday | Travis Fain/WRAL

The State Board of Elections will meet Sunday evening for a certification vote on what new voting machines will be allowed in North Carolina. The long-delayed decision will follow a demonstration of the various options from companies hoping to do business, or more business, in the state. Local boards of election decide what systems to buy, but the state board has to decide first whether various options meet state requirements. “If they meet the statutory requirements, they’re to be certified,” Board Chairman Robert Cordle said Tuesday. The board plans to meet at 5 p.m. in the Triangle Ballroom at the Cary Embassy Suites on Harrison Oaks Boulevard in Cary, not in the usual meeting room at the board offices.

National: Top Democrat demands answers on election equipment vulnerabilities | Maggie Miller/TheHill

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is demanding answers from the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) as to how the federal agency plans to secure election equipment amid reports that most machines depend on software that will soon be out-of-date and vulnerable to cyber attacks. In a letter dated July 12 that was released on Monday, Wyden asked EAC Chairwoman Christy McCormick how the agency plans to address this “looming cybersecurity crisis.” “Intelligence officials have made it clear that Russian hackers targeted our elections in 2016, and that they expect similar threats in 2020,” Wyden wrote. “The continued use of out-of-date software on voting machines and the computers used to administer elections lays out the red carpet for foreign hackers. This is unacceptable.” The Associated Press recently reported that the majority of U.S. counties use election management systems that run on Windows 7, an outdated operating system that Microsoft will stop updating in January. The systems are responsible for programming voting machines and tallying votes. Wyden focused his questions on whether products created by Election Systems and Software (ES&S), one of the major U.S. voting equipment manufacturers, would be decertified by the EAC prior to the 2020 elections. According to EAC documentation, the equipment uses Windows 7. Wyden gave McCormick a July 26 deadline to respond to his questions.

National: Multiple Bills Seek To Secure Elections: Will They Do It? | Taylor Armerding/Forbes

If the security of voting systems in the next election will be a function of the amount of legislation on the topic now pending in Congress, we’ve got nothing to worry about in November 2020. There is a growing pile of bills in both the House and Senate, most featuring several to dozens of cosponsors—sometimes even from both parties—accompanied by press releases with made-to-order endorsements from congressional leaders, advocacy groups and cybersecurity experts. They all call for securing U.S. elections and “protecting our democracy.” But, of course, the number of bills doesn’t matter. It’s about quality, not quantity. The things that do matter are what gets enacted into law and whether its mandates get done or get watered down. And that, as the predictable cliché goes, remains to be seen.

Pennsylvania: Citing election security, advocates seek to force Pennsylvania to reexamine new voting machines | Jonathan Lai/Philadelphia Inquirer

Organized by election-security advocates, 200 Pennsylvania voters filed a petition Tuesday seeking to force the Pennsylvania Department of State to reconsider its approval of a touchscreen voting machine selected by Philadelphia and other counties. Those machines, the ExpressVote XL from election mega-vendor Election Systems & Software (ES&S), have security flaws and do not comply with the state Election Code, the voters say in their petition submitted by certified mail and email Tuesday. It was signed by voters from Allegheny, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Westmoreland Counties. The law gives voters authority to trigger a new state review of previously certified electronic voting machines. The petitioners lay out a number of concerns, including the possibility of attackers’ altering votes; ballot secrecy being violated by comparing the chronological stack of ballots to poll books; poll workers inadvertently seeing voters’ choices while helping them; and lack of accessibility for voters with disabilities. They also point to requirements in the Election Code that they say the machine does not meet, such as not using colored paper to distinguish between political parties during a primary election. An ES&S spokesperson rejected those contentions, saying the ExpressVote XL protects voters’ privacy, is accessible for voters with disabilities, and does not allow manipulation of ballots after they are cast.

South Carolina: Does South Carolina’s new polling system get a vote of confidence? | Heath Ellison/The Daniel Island News

South Carolina will implement a new voting system starting January 1, 2020. The new method will be a mixture of the new and old by offering voters a touchscreen interface to make their choices, but will add “the security of a paper ballot,” according to the South Carolina State Election Commission. Voters will make their decision with the touchscreen and the new machine will print out a paper ballot. Individuals can review the ballot to assure their votes are correct, then they will enter them into the machine. Votes will be scanned and tallied when the paper is securely put in the ballot box. The paper ballots will be saved “for auditing and verification of results,” the Commission said. “I think there will be a learning curve,” said Berkeley County Voter Registration and Elections Director Adam Hammons. “I think it will continue to allow voters to access their ballot in the way that they’re used to.” Hammons added that he believes the new system will be a good change for the county.

National: Who’s behind voting-machine makers? Money of unclear origins | Emery P. Dalesio/Associated Press

The voting-machine makers that aim to sell their systems in North Carolina are largely owned by private equity firms that don’t disclose their investors. The companies didn’t want the public to know even that much. North Carolina’s statewide elections board demanded the machine-makers’ ownership information last month after special counsel Robert Mueller’s April report into Russian efforts to sway the 2016 presidential election. Their concerns about potential foreign interference have grown since Maryland officials learned last year that a company maintaining that state’s election infrastructure did not disclose its financing by a venture fund whose largest investor is a Russian oligarch. The private-equity backers of the three voting systems vendors seeking approval to sell to county elections boards in North Carolina told The Associated Press they’re controlled by U.S. citizens. They claimed they have no ties to foreign oligarchs or other nefarious persons facing financial sanctions by Washington. But they didn’t provide information about the sources of the money they invest. And they asked the board not to share what they did disclose with the public. The elections board released the companies’ responses — as required by law — under a public records request from The AP. Election security watchdogs remain frustrated.

National: Thousands of election systems running software that will soon be outdated: report | Tal Axelrod/The Hill

The vast majority of the nation’s 10,000 election jurisdictions are using an operating system that will soon be outdated, according to an Associated Press analysis. Those jurisdictions using Windows 7 or an older operating system to create ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts will reach its “end of life” on Jan. 14 — meaning Microsoft will no longer provide technical support or produce “patches” to deal with vulnerabilities that hackers could possibly exploit. Microsoft told the AP in a statement Friday that it would offer continued Windows 7 security updates for a fee through 2023. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. Critics told the AP that the obsolescence was an example of what happens when private companies determine the security level of election systems without federal guidelines. Vendors defended themselves, saying they’ve been making consistent improvements on security, but state officials said they were wary of federal involvement in state and local races.

North Carolina: New elections loom without decision on voting machines | Travis Fain/WRAL

Voters in large swaths of North Carolina may use touchscreen voting equipment again for the 2020 presidential elections, despite the legislature voting in 2013 to phase out these machines in favor of paper ballots. Legislation to delay that for a third time in the last 6 years is pending at the General Assembly, and the state’s elections director has backed the delay as the State Board of Elections weighs what new machines to sign off on. Separate legislation is also moving through the General Assembly to require all the companies that want to sell voting machines in North Carolina to put up a $17 million bond, a change that at least one competing vendor sees as a way to discourage competition, and the current vendor says is only fair. Meanwhile the federal government is probing poll books used in Durham in the 2016 elections for evidence of foreign tampering. State elections officials are also doing a deeper dive on the three companies hoping to sell voting machines to local boards of election, probing whether any have foreign ownership. State officials asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to assist with that and report back on any potentially troubling ties, State Board member Stella Anderson said Friday. “I doubt (they find anything), but you never know,” Anderson said.

National: Voting Machine Makers Claim The Names Of The Entities That Own Them Are Trade Secrets | Tim Cushing/Techdirt

Recently, the North Carolina State Board of Elections asked suppliers of electronic voting machines a simple question: who owns you? (h/t Annemarie Bridy) On June 14, 2019, the State Board of Elections requested that your companies disclose any owners or shareholders with a 5% or greater interest or share in each of the vendor’s company, any subsidiary company, of the vendor, and the vendor’s parent company. This seems like very basic information — information the Board should know and should be able to pass on to the general public. After all, these are the makers of devices used by the public while electing their representatives. They should know who’s running these companies and who their majority stakeholders are. If something goes wrong (and something always does), they should know who’s ultimately responsible for the latest debacle. It’s not like the state was asking the manufacturers to cough up code and machine schematics. All it wanted to know is the people behind the company nameplates. But the responses the board received indicate voting system manufacturers believe releasing any info about their companies’ compositions will somehow compromise their market advantage. Hart Intercivic said letting the public know that the company is owned by H.I.G. Hart, LLC and Gregg L. Burt is a fact that would devalue the company if it were made public. Hart InterCivic, a corporation that derives independent actual value from this information not being generally known or readily ascertainable and makes reasonable efforts to maintain the secrecy of this information, requests that it be designated as a trade secret pursuant to G.S. § 132-1.2(1)d. and G.S. § 66-152(3).

Georgia: Judge allows outside inspection of Georgia voting system | Mark Niesse/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The insides of Georgia’s voting system will be cracked open for inspection as part of a lawsuit alleging that the state’s elections are vulnerable to inaccuracies, malfunctions and hacking. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg on Tuesday ordered election officials to allow computer experts to review databases used to configure ballots and tabulate votes.The ruling comes in a lawsuit by election integrity advocates who doubt the accuracy of Georgia’s electronic voting machines and are asking Totenberg to require that elections be conducted on paper ballots filled out with a pen.The review of election management databases is needed to understand what caused problems during November’s heated race for governor between Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams, said Bruce Brown, an attorney for some of the plaintiffs.Voters reported that voting machines failed to record their choices, flipped their votes from one candidate to another and produced questionable results.“We can see the system malfunctioning, and everybody knows it is intrinsically vulnerable,” said Brown, who represents the Coalition for Good Governance, a Colorado-based organization focused on election accountability. “We’re trying to learn more about the exact causes of the particular problems we’re seeing in Georgia.”Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s attorneys objected to allowing a review of election databases, which have a variety of information including candidate names, party affiliations, ballot layouts and vote counts for each precinct. The databases don’t contain confidential information, Totenberg wrote.

Georgia: In Georgia, New Election Technology and Old Security Concerns | Timothy Pratt/Undark

Earlier this year, Georgia’s Secure, Accessible, and Fair Elections Commission held a public meeting at the state capitol to answer a pressing question: What should Georgia do to replace its aging, touchscreen voting machines, as well as other parts of its election system? In the preceding years, security vulnerabilities in the state’s election system had been repeatedly exposed: by Russian operatives, friendly hackers, and even a Georgia voter who, just days ahead of the 2018 midterms, revealed that anyone could go online and gain access to the state’s voter registration database. Computer scientists and elections experts from around the country had weighed in during the seven months of the commission’s deliberations on the issue. They submitted letters and provided testimony, sharing the latest research and clarifying technical concepts tied to holding safe, reliable elections. Their contributions were underscored by commission member Wenke Lee, co-director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for Information Security and Privacy, and the group’s only computer scientist. Despite this, the commission ultimately did not recommend measures backed by Lee and his colleaguesat places like Stanford, Yale, Princeton, MIT, and Google — including the recommendation that the state return to a system of paper ballots filled out by hand, combined with what scientists call risk-limiting audits. Instead, the commission recommended buying a system that included another, more expensivetouchscreen voting machine that prints a paper ballot. Months later, Lee was at a loss to explain: “I don’t understand why they still don’t understand,” he said.

North Dakota: New voting machines being ‘put through the paces’ | Prairie Public Broadcasting

New voting machines for North Dakota are set up in a room at the Capitol. “We’re putting them through the paces, said Deputy Secretary of State Jim Silrum. “We want to make sure they can handle our open primary, and any election we would throw at it.” It is the Secretary of State’s job to certify the new devices, and de-certify the devices that are no longer used. Silrum said the contract to finalize the purchase of the new devices will likely be finished by the end of the week, and the plan is to have all the devices in Bismarck by the end of July. After that, county election officials will be trained on them.

National: Voting machine giant lobbies Congress for paper ballots amid election security concerns | Kevin Collier/CNN

The US’s largest election equipment manufacturer has begun quietly lobbying Congress to force all voting equipment to create a paper trail, a sharp departure after years of selling paperless digital machines that can’t be fully audited. The change of stance comes amid concerns over the security of elections following Russia’s interference effort in the 2016 presidential election. “There’s a big recognition today that auditing is important, and to do a proper audit you need a piece of paper,” Kathy Rogers, Election Systems & Software senior vice president of government relations, told CNN. “I’ll tell you it’s a decision that came at a cost. We’ve lost a few sales because of it. But we think it’s the right thing to do,” Rogers said. Voting experts resoundingly agree that while no system is perfect, the only way to reliably audit an election is to compare results with a physical tally of paper ballots.

New York: New Voting Machines Could Impact Need For Poll Translators | Kings County Politics

A new voting machine that has instructions and ballots in multiple languages could make the city’s hiring of translators outside of polling places obsolete in the near future. That after the state board of elections is reportedly looking at giving municipalities the green light to start using the ExpressVote XL machines if they so choose. Given that the city now offers voter the ability to register in 15 different languages, the machine has a touchscreen which allows for any language to be programmed, so that voters whose first language is not English can simply read the ballot in their preferred language without having to navigate a crowded ballot with small print and multiple languages on it. The machine uses touchscreen technology that displays only the language that the voter selects, making the ballot clear and easy to read.  The paper-based ExpressVote XL machines are also fully Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant, produce a verifiable paper record for tabulation.

Georgia: New voting machines will come before Georgia sets primary date | Mark Niesse and Greg Bluestein/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia election officials won’t set the state’s presidential primary election date until new voting machines are in place. The delay raised concerns from some county election directors who said they might have to move polling places if churches and other facilities get booked before an election date is announced.The uncertain timing also creates the possibility that the presidential primary won’t take place until after many other states have already weighed in, potentially diminishing Georgia’s relevance in deciding each party’s candidate. The Georgia primary was held on Super Tuesday — the first Tuesday in March — in each of the past two presidential election years.Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is holding off on deciding a date for the 2020 primary until the government completes its $150 million purchase of new statewide voting equipment, likely in July. At least four companies are bidding for the state’s $150 million contract to provide touchscreen voting machines that print out paper ballots, replacing Georgia’s 17-year-old electronic voting system.

North Carolina: Election hacking: North Carolina officials won’t approve new voting machines | Raleigh News & Observer

North Carolina election officials were supposed to certify new voting machines on Thursday for millions of voters to start using in 2020. But they declined to make any decisions, citing uncertainty over who owns the three companies that were seeking approval to sell voting machines here. The state gave them until next week to divulge everyone who owns at least 5 percent of their companies or any parent or subsidiary company. “I believe this follows along with the cyber security concerns we have found in the Mueller report and other documentation that has been furnished to our board,” Robert Cordle, the chairman of the State Board of Elections, said Thursday when the board announced its surprise decision. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report indicated that a company that provides voting software in some North Carolina counties may have been compromised by Russian hackers in 2016. That company’s software can’t be used to change or record votes; it only deals with checking voters in to the polls.

South Carolina: State preparing for switch to paper ballot voting | Adam Benson/Index Journal

Local election officials say a new paper ballot-based system will give voters more control over their choices by introducing a layer of redundancy not available in more than a decade. On Monday, the state Election Commission said Omaha, Nebraska-based Election Systems & Software was granted a $51 million contract to swap out 13,000 touchscreen machines, in circulation since 2004, with units that include a BMD, or “ballot-marking device” to verify selections on a paper ballot after using the electronic interface to initially pick a candidate. “Our job was to find the best system out there for the voters of South Carolina,” commission chairman John Wells said in a release. “We were looking for a system that is secure, accurate, accessible, auditable, transparent, reliable and easy for poll managers and voters to use.”

Tennessee: Nashville elections: New voting machines to be used for August races | Andrew Wigdor/Nashville Tennessean

Nashville will get new voting machines for the upcoming Aug. 1 election in order to cut down on unintentional mistakes by voters. The most notable change with the new machines is a two-step paper ballot system. Voters are provided with a blank “ballot card” by an polling official that voters then insert into a new “ballot marking device.” Once the card is inserted, the voter selects their choices, and the machine prints out the ballot, now marked with the voter’s choices. The voter then inserts the ballot into a second machine, where the votes are scanned. If voters make a mistake, they are able to look at their ballot before inserting it into the second machine and decide whether they need to make a change. Once the ballot is inserted and scanned into the second machine, a vote is final.

National: Even a voting machine company is pushing for election security legislation | Joseph Marks/The Washington Post

A major voting machine vendor reversed course Friday and urged Congress to pass legislation mandating paper trails for all votes as an anti-hacking protection. The company, Election Systems & Software, also pledged to no longer sell paperless voting machines as the primary voting device in an election jurisdiction and urged Congress to mandate security testing of voting equipment by outside researchers. That promise was made in an op-ed from chief executive Tom Burt published in Roll Call. Burt called such a move “essential to the future of America” and vital for restoring “the general public’s faith in the process of casting a ballot” after the 2016 election was marred by Russian attempts to hack into election systems. The call marks a major about face for ES&S, which, as recently as September, lashed out at researchers who publicly tested its voting machines for hackable vulnerabilities at the annual Def Con hackers conference. The move also comes, however, as chances look extremely slim for any election security legislation to make it out of Congress this year because of fierce opposition from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.).

National: Finally, a Top Voting Machine Maker Is Calling for Stronger Election Security Laws | Patrick Howell O’Neill/Gizmodo

Over the last few decades, the state of American election cybersecurity has been excoriated by hackers who hope to fix a host of glaring problems before the entire system is exploited. Voting machine makers as an industry have long pushed back against security and transparency efforts until, suddenly, this week. Tom Burt is the CEO of Election Systems & Software (ES&S), one of the biggest voting machine manufacturers in the United States. Last year, hackers gathered at the Def Con conference in Las Vegas to test the security of voting machines. While Burt’s company criticized the hackers and suggested the threat against their machines was minimal and “extremely unlikely,” the event was punctuated by an 11-year-old changing voting results and researchers finding a decade-old security flaw in an ES&S ballot counting machine used across the United States.

National: Leading voting-machine vendor vows to ditch paperless voting | Timothy B. Lee/Ars Technica

Election Systems & Software, which describes itself as the nation’s leading elections-equipment provider, has vowed to stop selling paperless electronic voting systems—at least as the “primary voting device in a jurisdiction.” And the company is calling on Congress to pass legislation mandating paper ballots and raising security standards for voting machines. “Congress must pass legislation establishing a more robust testing program—one that mandates that all voting-machine suppliers submit their systems to stronger, programmatic security testing conducted by vetted and approved researchers,” writes ES&S CEO Tom Burt in an op-ed for Roll Call. Over the last 18 months, election-security advocates have been pushing for new legislation shoring up the nation’s election infrastructure. Election-security reform proposals enjoy significant support among Democrats—who control the House of Representatives—and have picked up some Republican co-sponsors, too. However, such measures have faced hostility from the White House and from the Republican leadership of the Senate. “I don’t think there is any likelihood that we are going to move a bill that federalizes more of the election process,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of the Senate leadership team, last week.

North Carolina: With Guilford and Mecklenburg voting machines facing decertification, confusion looms for 2020 election | By Will Doran/Greensboro News & Record

Roughly a third of North Carolina voters use electronic machines with no paper ballots. But that might all change next year for the 2020 presidential election. Supporters of the change say it will help ensure election security, especially given reports from the FBI and other sources that the Russian government attempted to influence America’s 2016 elections and may have hacked into some U.S. voting software. But the switch has been held up for years, despite first being ordered in a 2013 law. Now, some officials — including some in Guilford County and the new state elections director — worry that there’s not enough time left to get new voting systems in place for the 2020 elections. Guilford County uses an electronic machine with a paper backup, said Chris Duffey, deputy director of the Guilford County Board of Elections. However, these DRE touch-screen machines, which use electronic ballot counting as opposed to paper tabulation, will be decertified by state law effective Dec. 1, he said. The law, adopted in 2013, aims to thwart cyber hackers who might have the skills to manipulate digital election results.

South Carolina: Company that courted South Carolina elections chief wins $51M bid for new voting machines | Tom Barton/The State

South Carolina voters will get a paper printout of their completed ballots starting next year, when the state puts in place some 13,500 new voting machines. State officials on Monday announced that a $51 million contract had been awarded to Election Systems and Software, the nation’s largest voting equipment vendor, to provide the new voting machines which promise more security in producing a paper ballot. ES&S has a lengthy history with South Carolina. The company provided the state’s existing voting system, in place since 2004. The paperless system has drawn increasing scrutiny, raising questions about accuracy of counting votes and whether the system is vulnerable to hacking. The company also has ties to elections officials in South Carolina and other states, an investigation by McClatchy and The State revealed. Marci Andino, executive director for the S.C. State Election Commission, formerly served on an advisory panel to the company, which treated her and elections officials from other states to trips to Las Vegas and elsewhere. Andino said she ran her trips by state ethics officials and has stepped down from the advisory role with ES&S prior to the state’s efforts to procure a new voting system.

South Carolina: State chooses new voting machines that will print paper ballots but some fear it’s not safe | Mike Fitts/Post and Courier

Beginning with the presidential primary next year, South Carolina voters will mark their choices on paper ballots by touching digital screens under a new $51 million voting system announced Monday by the state Election Commission — a choice criticized by a civic group that advocates for safe balloting. Under the system made by Election Systems & Software, voters will put their paper ballot into a touchscreen system and choose their candidates. They print out a completed ballot to review their selections and then put the ballot into a scanner to formally record their votes. … The League of Women Voters of South Carolina, however, was disappointed in the choice. The group sees this system as overly elaborate and possibly vulnerable to hacking or other mischief, especially when compared with a simple paper ballot.

National: ES&S reverses position on election security, promises paper ballots | Zack Whittaker/TechCrunch

Voting machine maker ES&S has said it “will no longer sell” paperless voting machines as the primary device for casting ballots in a jurisdiction. ES&S chief executive Tom Burt confirmed the news in an op-ed. TechCrunch understands the decision was made around the time that four senior Democratic lawmakers demanded to know why ES&S, and two other major voting machine makers, were still selling decade-old machines known to contain security flaws. Burt’s op-ed said voting machines “must have physical paper records of votes” to prevent mistakes or tampering that could lead to improperly cast votes. Sen. Ron Wyden introduced a bill a year ago that would mandate voter-verified paper ballots for all election machines. The chief executive also called on Congress to pass legislation mandating a stronger election machine testing program. Burt’s remarks are a sharp turnaround from the company’s position just a year ago, in which the election systems maker drew ire from the security community for denouncing vulnerabilities found by hackers at the annual Defcon conference.

North Carolina: Is North Carolina rushing into major election changes? Some officials warn of confusion in 2020 | Will Doran/Charlotte Observer

Roughly a third of North Carolina voters use electronic machines with no paper ballots. But that might all change next year for the 2020 presidential election. Supporters of the change say it will help ensure election security, especially given reports from the FBI and other sources that the Russian government attempted to influence America’s 2016 elections and may have hacked into some U.S. voting software. But the switch has been held up for years, despite first being ordered in a 2013 law. Now, some officials — including the new state elections director — worry that there’s not enough time left to get new voting systems in place for the 2020 elections. The state’s biggest county, Mecklenburg, is one of the counties that will have to make the switch away from touchscreen voting machines. But officials there still don’t know what machines they might be allowed to buy as replacements, or how much they’ll cost. Meanwhile, the deadline to get new machines in place is coming up at the end of this year.

Pennsylvania: Here’s who makes money from the voting machine requirement for Pennsylvania counties — and how those decisions are being made | Emily Previti & Ed Mahon|PA Post

As Jeff Frank strode out of his polling place on a recent Tuesday morning, poll watchers thanked him for voting. “Have a great day – enjoy the complaints as they come out the door,” Frank responded. Municipal elections tend to be relatively quiet – even in Montgomery, which consistently turns out a higher number of voters than any other county in the state but more-populous Philadelphia and Allegheny counties  But this year, several counties debuted new voting machines – and two, including Montgomery, went to an entirely different way of voting. “When I came and discovered what the process was, I said, okay, but it is ridiculous, a waste of time and will cause lines so long that people will not be here when the presidential election comes up,” Frank said. Other voters exiting the Temple Brith Achim Synagogue polling location in Upper Merion weren’t quite as animated over the switch from push-button machines to scannable paper ballots filled out by hand. “It’s even it’s better now that you actually get a confirmation ticket that your vote was cast. We never got that before,” said Tykia Turner.

Georgia: High court to hear appeal in election challenge | Kate Brumback/Associated Press

Georgia’s outdated voting machines are in the spotlight as election integrity advocates try to convince the state’s highest court that a judge shouldn’t have dismissed a lawsuit challenging the outcome of November’s race for lieutenant governor. The lawsuit says tens of thousands of votes were never recorded in the race and the contest was “so defective and marred by material irregularities” as to place the result in doubt. It contends an unexplained undervote in the race was likely caused by problems with the state’s paperless touchscreen voting machines. Republican Geoff Duncan beat Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico by 123,172 votes to become lieutenant governor.

Pennsylvania: Pushing buttons: No one in City offices approved new voting machines, so why did 83 arrive in Philadelphia? | Courtenay Harris Bond/Philadelphia Weekly

The brouhaha over the buying of new voting machines for the city reached a crescendo when 83 of the most expensive and least secure varieties – according to voters’ rights advocates – arrived in Philadelphia last week. The machines toured by a crew from a local television station before the procurement process had been finalized. That move subsequently has raised lots of eyebrows and questions and now has the whole affair under investigation by City controller’s Rebecca Rhynhart’s office. City Commissioner Lisa Deeley, who has recused herself from sitting on the commission because she is running for re-election, gave NBC10 a look at the ES&S Express Vote XL machines, which cost about $8,000 each and which advocates from Protect Our Vote Philly Coalition and other groups say are less reliable and less protected against tampering than paper ballot systems with scanners. “I think they we picked the worst, most expensive, least secure machines, unfortunately,” said Democratic commissioner candidate Jen Devor, who is running in a pool of 12 other Democrats, including Deeley, in the May 21 primary.