Georgia: State to shift elections work in-house, away from Kennesaw State | Atlanta Journal Constitution

Georgia, for the first time in more than a decade, has decided to move all its elections work in-house after a series of security lapses forced it to step away from its longtime relationship with the beleaguered elections center at Kennesaw State University.
The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office and university officials both confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the two entities have signed a final contract good through June 2018. For the first time, however, it includes a provision for either party to terminate it midstream. That’s because the office over the next year will build its own team to run Georgia’s elections — work the KSU center has done for the past 15 years. ”Today my office and Kennesaw State University executed what will be the final contract between our two entities related to the Center for Election Systems,” Secretary of State Brian Kemp said in a statement to the AJC. “The ever-changing landscape of technology demands that we change with it.

National: Internet Voting: Creeping Our way? | The Canvass

“Internet voting” means different things to different people. To many folks, it might mean “click a button, submit, done.” To some—and for our purposes—it means anytime a voted ballot is transmitted in any way, shape or form via the Internet. Whatever the definition, computer scientists tell us that secure online voting is still many years, or even decades, away. For now, they say, using the Internet to return voted ballots can’t be done with confidence. Like it or not, Internet voting is on the minds of legislators and other policymakers. We say that, based on the 13 states that have had legislation in 2015 that deals in some way with permitting Internet voting. Only one has been enacted, Maine SB 552. So voters’ needs and technical expectations may push policymakers toward Internet voting—and at the same time security concerns are holding it back.

Voting Blogs: Elections, Meet Academia; Academia, Meet Elections | The Canvass

“Elections are the way we measure the democratic process,” said Kathleen Hale, associate professor at Auburn University in Alabama. “As technology changes, and the pace of change accelerates, having top skills in the part of our government that measures democracy is critical.” Her university and a number of others are doing their part to help measure democracy better—and otherwise help improve the election process. If you’re a legislator from Alabama, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Virginia and a few other states, count yourselves lucky. These states already get help from academia to improve election management.

Voting Blogs: Customer Service for Elections | The Canvass

Voters have a right to expect good customer service when they go to vote. And that means full service—not just fast service. Therefore, speed isn’t the number one goal for election administrators. First and foremost, elections need to meet legal obligations, says Merle King, executive director of the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University, in Georgia. Boiled down, these obligations include running accurate elections in which all eligible voters can vote.  Where does that leave customer service values such as convenience and speed? These are still important, judging by recent activity. For instance, President Obama has established a bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration, with a goal of improvinig voters’ experiences, and several pieces of federal legislation have been introduced, although none appear to be moving. In addition, reports and recommendations on election management are pouring forth.

National: Technology could supplant voter IDs at polls, but registration problems remain | MinnPost

New technology can make voting a very efficient matter, making it possible to verify a voter’s identity at the poll even without a photo ID.  But the new electronic wizardry does little to eliminate problems some voters face in registering to vote in the first place. Electronic poll books, which contain computer software that loads digital registration records, are used in at least 27 states and the District of Columbia. Poll books are emerging as an alternative to photo ID requirements to authenticate voters’ identity, address and registration status, when they show up at polling places to vote. Voting is the same, but signing in with electronic poll books is different. Poll workers check in voters using a faster, computerized version of paper voter rolls. Upon arrival, voters give their names and addresses, or in some states, such as Iowa, they can choose to scan their photo IDs.

Georgia: Elections officials: Floyd County Faulty voting machine contains 85 votes |

Floyd County Elections Board Chairman Pete McDonald said the malfunctioning touch screen voting machine at Alto Park has been sent to the manufacturer in an attempt to access the 85 uncounted votes it holds. McDonald said Merle King at the Georgia Elections Center at Kennesaw State University reported that attempts to retrieve the election data from the memory card or from the archive memory were unsuccessful.