National: Elections amid coronavirus: How officials aim to keep voters safe | Alfred Ng/CNET

The coronavirus outbreak has put much of the US out of service, shutting down schools, stores and sports events for the foreseeable future. With several crucial primaries coming up in the US presidential race, election officials need to figure out how to get the vote out while handling a public health crisis. On Monday, we got a sign of just how fluid the situation is, as Ohio planned to postpone its primary, a day ahead of scheduled voting. Three other states — Arizona, Florida and Illinois — are forging ahead with their primaries Tuesday. It was just on Friday that election officials for those states issued a group statement saying they planned to keep the primaries going, despite the outbreak. Several of those states are considered battleground states for the presidency. “They voted during the Civil War. We’re going to vote,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a press conference Friday. That was two days before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday urged against gatherings of more than 50 people throughout the next eight weeks. Then on Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump advised against gatherings of more than 10 people. At around the same time, Ohio Gov.Mike DeWine announced that he planned to postpone the state’s primary to June 2.

National: ‘Sloppy’ Mobile Voting App Used in Four States Has ‘Elementary’ Security Flaws | Kim Zetter/VICE

A mobile voting app being used in West Virginia and other states has elementary security flaws that would allow someone to see and intercept votes as they’re transmitted from mobile phones to the voting company’s server, new research reveals. An attacker would also be able to alter the user’s vote and trick the user into believing their vote was transmitted accurately, researchers from the Massachusetts Technology Institute write in a paper released Thursday. The app, called Voatz, also has problems with how it handles authentication between the voter’s mobile phone and the backend server, allowing an attacker to impersonate a user’s phone. Even more surprising, although the makers of Voatz have touted its use of blockchain technology to secure the transmission and storage of votes, the researchers found that the blockchain isn’t actually used in the way Voatz claims it is, thereby supplying no additional security to the system. The research was conducted by Michael Specter and James Koppel, two graduate students in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, and Daniel Weitzner, principal research scientist with the lab. Election security experts praised the research and said it shows that long-held concerns about mobile voting are well-founded.

Canada: Former MPP says botched online voting system could spell disaster for Ontario PC leadership election | National Post

As if the Ontario Conservatives needed another controversy, a former Tory cabinet minister says glitches with the online voting system for the party’s leadership race could spell disaster, leaving thousands unable to cast a ballot. Frank Klees, a longtime member of provincial parliament who is backing businessman Doug Ford for leader, said Friday that if the problems are not fixed by the time voting starts March 2, the entire party executive should resign. Klees told the National Post he was unable to register to vote online using the secret code sent to him in the mail, and then was told by a party employee that a printing anomaly meant Os appeared as zeroes, Zs as twos and Is as ones.