Verified Voting in the News: Problems and questions face D.C. following primary | electionlineWeekly

The complaining on social media began almost as soon as the polls in Washington, D.C. closed at 8 p.m. on the April 1 primary. Where were the first results? Why haven’t we heard anything? While certainly the 8 p.m. naysayers could be dismissed for their short attention spans and need for instant gratification, when 9 p.m. came and went with no results, not even those from early voting, even calmer heads started to wonder: Again? Why are there no results? Whoever was running the D.C. Board of Elections’ Twitter page was doing their best to keep people informed, but by 9:30 the Twitterati and local media were having none of it. Finally at 9:55 p.m. the first results began to trickle in, but there were discrepancies in the numbers between what reporters were given and what was appearing on the DCBOE’s website. It was near 2 a.m. before the final votes were tallied in an election that had the lowest election turnout in 30 years. … In D.C. there are not just two different voting systems but multiple electronic systems. Poll workers had to go through a complex-sounding process to transfer the results from one DRE to the other so that all the votes in the precinct were reported together. “When you have two systems, you have more shutting down and more reconciling to do. You have more checks to do and more checklists to check,” said Dana Chisnell with the Center for Civic Design. “You also have to reconcile *between* the systems, so it wouldn’t be surprising to me if there was confusion around that.”

National: U.S. Election Assistance Commission and NIST trumpet innovation in voting technology | California Forward

Last week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission hosted a Future of Voting Systems Symposium. The three-day meeting outside of Washington, DC was designed to look at the latest developments in the field of voting technology and assess how such developments mesh with the current federal structure for testing and certification. The takeaway from the meeting was sobering and exciting; while it is increasingly clear that existing testing and certification requirements aren’t working, there is a burst of creativity underway by election officials, technologists and other stakeholders in the effort to design a different and better approach.

Verified Voting in the News: Internet voting, the third-rail of elections | electionlineWeekly

There are no two words that get elections officials, scholars, vendors and geeks more riled up than Internet voting. The emotions on both sides often run so high that at times it can seem almost impossible to even have a conversation about the concept of casting a ballot online. But with concerns about long lines on Election Day, with the U.S. Postal Service cutting services, and elections officials concerned about getting ballots to voters overseas or in times of emergency, is it possible to discuss the possibilities? “Is there anything not controversial related to voting?  If voting machines had to go through acceptance that Internet voting is facing, they wouldn’t have been rolled out,” said Brian Newby, Johnson County, Kan. election commissioner. “The movement has pretty successfully been slowed by emotion and in particular, emotion masquerading as fact.” According to Newby, beyond the technological issues, there are some who are very impassioned because it takes away the spirit of community that comes with voting. “I respect that opposition because at least they are saying they don’t like Internet voting because of the way they feel. That’s an emotional argument that’s fair because it’s called out from the beginning as being emotional. Newby acknowledged that it is a difficult conversation, in part, because the country is no closer to Internet voting in the United States, really, than it was five or 10 years ago. “Discussion has been successfully stonewalled, so why fight with success?” Newby said. ”The best argument that could be made would be that there is a growing use of Internet voting options for military and overseas voters, but even those options have been much more evolutionary than revolutionary.”

National: Online voting: Safe for Oscars, but not yet for elections? | TechHive

For the first time ever, this year’s Oscar winners were selected online. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to let its members vote online, but cybersecurity and elections experts say that casting Internet ballots in public elections is still a long way off. Even picking Best Picture winners led to serious snafus. The voting deadline for the Oscars was extended in early January after some members had issues with account registration (password requests were answered by snail mail rather than email). But in public elections, deadlines can’t be extended. A group of cybersecurity and elections experts last week reiterated the dangers of modeling public elections after private ones. Companies who design online voting systems for award shows or corporate shareholder meetings may suggest these systems can also be used in congressional or presidential races. Those claims should be met with skepticism, said computer scientist David Jefferson, chairman of the nonprofit Verified Voting Foundation. “There are major differences between private and public elections: the degree of security required, the degree of privacy required, the degree of transparency required,” Jefferson said in a telephone press conference Thursday. “In a public election we’re talking about a national security situation.”