The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed a lawsuit asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block a request controversial request for voter information made by a commission President Donald Trump says will root out voter fraud. EPIC said “that the Commission’s demand for detailed voter histories violated the Constitutional right to privacy,” and “by seeking to assemble an unnecessary and excessive federal database of sensitive voter data from state records systems, (the commission) violated the informational privacy rights of millions of Americans.”
In a Washington Post oped, former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff raised concern about security issues posed by the Trump commission request for voter data. Echoing the recommendation of computer security experts, a New York Times editorial calls for regular threat assessments of voter registration systems, the replacement paperless electronic voting machines, and routine post-election audits.
Several Georgia voters together with the Coalition for Good Governance have filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the results of last month’s 6th Congressional District special election and scrap the state’s voting system. The plaintiffs allege that state and local election officials ignored warnings for months that Georgia’s centralized election system — already known for potential security flaws and lacking a paper trail to verify results — had been compromised and left unprotected from intruders since at least last summer.
A Massachusetts lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of he state’s requirement that eligible voters register at least 20 days ahead of an election was heard in court this week. Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union argued that the requirement is arbitrary and unconstitutional and disproportionately affects low-income people, elderly people, students, younger people and people of color. The lawsuit notes that15 states, including more than half of New England states, currently allow same-day registration for voters on Election Day.
North Carolina lawmakers say they might have to change 116 of the state’s 170 state legislative districts to correct the illegal racially gerrymandered districts used to elect General Assembly members for the past six years. The private attorneys representing the legislators who were sued over the 2011 district lines offered that detail in federal court documents this week as one reason for opposing special elections this year.
The Justice Department submitted a brief in support of the Texas’s voter ID legislation, which is currently facing a challenge in US District Court that claims the law discriminates on the grounds of race. Under former President Barack Obama, the Justice Department was a party in the lawsuit against the bill and filed key briefs on behalf of the plaintiffs. The department argued then that the law not only had a discriminatory effect, but that its passage after Texas state lawmakers scrutinized racial differences in access to identification also constituted a discriminatory intent.
The Indian Election Commission has decided to conduct post-election audits for all state and federal elections, in which voter verifiable paper audit records will be hand counts in 5% of polling stations in each assembly seat will be compared to electronically-generated totals. While welcoming the Election Commission’s decision, Aam Aadmi Party leader Saurabh Bhardwaj said that increasing the percentage to 25 would enhance public trust in electronic voting machines.
Counting is under way in Papua New Guinea’s sprawling elections but voting has been marred by claims of rigging, electoral roll flaws and ballot paper shortages. The last polling stations closed Saturday after two weeks of voting for the 111-seat parliament across the vast and remote country where previous elections have been tarnished by violence.