In a remarkably blunt assessment released Friday, the CIA, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence concluded with “high confidence” that Russia carried out a comprehensive cyber campaign to sabotage the U.S. presidential election, an operation that was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin and ultimately sought to help elect Donald Trump. Also on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced Friday that he’s designating U.S. election systems critical infrastructure, a move that provides more federal help for state and local governments to keep their election systems safe from tampering.
At the New York Review of Books, Eric Maskin and Amartya Sen considered alternatives to the electoral college. Among the alternatives they consider are district-level assignment of electors and the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which has been passed by many state legislatures. Elimination of the Electoral College would require a constitutional amendment – highly unlikely to say the least.
A steadfast champion for voters, election integrity advocate, and inspirational defender of democracy Ion Sancho has retired from his position as Leon County Florida Supervisor of Elections after 28 years. His local newspaper, The Tallahassee Democrat published a review of Sancho’s career, highlighting his service on behalf of Leon County voters, his leadership of the 2000 Florida recount (at least until the US Supreme Court got in the way), to the courage he showed in allowing Harri Hursti to demonstrate the vulnerability of voting equipment, documented in the 2006 film Hacking Democracy.
Iowa Secretary of State Pete Pate has announced proposed legislation that would require a photo id for voting. A three-judge panel upheld North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s request to block a revamp of the state elections board while his lawsuit makes its way through the courts. In a ruling that could provide a key test of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 2013 that gutted portions of the Voting Rights Act, a federal judge ruled that officials in the City of Pasadena Texas deliberately diluted the clout of Hispanic voters by revising the system for electing City Council members.
The final cost of Wisconsin’s presidential recount will likely be about half of the estimated $3.8 million that the state had required Green Party candidate Jill Stein pay before the recount began. In a reversal of his previous pledge,
The Gambia’s army chief pledged his loyalty to President Yahya Jammeh, who has refused to accept defeat in last month’s election and a former head of MI6 has warned against switching elections to electronic voting because of the risk of hacking and cyber attacks.