The Voting News Weekly: The Voting News Weekly for March 12-18 2018

Cyberscoop reported on the move many states and counties are making to paper ballot voting systems. Verified Voting president Marian Schneider is quoted emphasizing “the ability to recover,” from hacking malfunction. “When you talk about voting systems, the way you have the ability to recover is that you have a voter-marked paper ballot, and you have a human process that checks that paper ballot against the software-driven process.”  of the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage takes a valuable international perspective in dvocating the importance of pre-election planning nd non-partisanship in countering election interference.

Duncan Buell, Richard DeMillo and Candice Hoke posted an extensive op-ed in USA Today recommending  rapid conversion from “paperless touch-screen voting machines to paper ballots, and upgrade states’ and counties’ verification practices to conduct public post-election ballot audits before local election boards certify the 2018 elections.”

An Arkansas judge is weighing whether to block enforcement of a voter ID law that’s nearly identical to a measure struck down by the state’s highest court about four years ago. Judge Alice Gray didn’t say when she would rule on a request to block the law’s enforcement in Arkansas’ May 22 primary.

The Georgia House Governmental Affairs Committee approved a bill that would replace the state’s 16-year-old electronic voting machines with a system that provides a paper backup. While many of the bill’s supporters suggest that the legislation would require paper ballots, voting advocates are concern that language in the bill could allow equipment that counted barcodes rather than marks made by voters. Verified Voting president Marian Schneider said the legislation needs to be clarified to ensure that “human readable ballots” — not bar codes — are the official ballot. The current version of the bill could be interpreted as saying that the bar codes are official because they’re part of the paper ballot. “A bar code is insecure because it’s generated by software,” Schneider said. “A software-created process can be altered by software. Those software-generated items should not control in the case of a discrepancy.”

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced he will appoint members to a long-delayed new State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, allowing the board, which has staff but no appointed board, to clear a backlog of work ahead of this year’s elections. Cooper will continue to fight the Republican-mandated changes to the board in court.

Conor Lamb’s razor-thin margin of victory in this week special election has provoked calls for a recount. But, as Buzzfeed points out there is no way to do a meaningful recount of the voting equipment used in the 18t Congressional District. In a Reuters article election experts agreed that the election highlighted the importance of replacing Pennsylvania’s aging voting machines with paper ballots voting systems ahead November’s midterm elections.

With opposition calls to for a boycott of Egypt’s presidential election, The Washington Post considered the impact and effectiveness of election boycotts. And in another election in which the is not in doubt, Russians go to the polls today to elect Vladimir Putin to another six year term.

Comments are closed.