Despite widespread concern about the security of the election process in America, it is nevertheless difficult to reach a consensus on how to address those concerns. In a WIRED article, Lily Hay Newman explored the complex net of intrelated stakeholders – voting officials, cybersecurity experts, national security agencies – that collectively must secure the integrity of future elections. And those upcoming election are certainly under threat as described from different perspectives in editorials by Joseph O’Neill and Richard Hasen.
The Administration’s controversial Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is facing three new lawsuits. In separate court actions Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the American Civil Liberties Union accuse the commission of violating the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which sets standards for openness and accountability by such committees. A third suit, by the advocacy group Public Citizen, argues that the commission is violating the federal Privacy Act by designating the Army to collect data on voters’ registrations and voting histories and other identifying data, including partial Social Security numbers and birthdates. A similar suit, filed a week ago by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the commission’s request violated the 2002 E-Government Act.
Free & Fair, has announced that they have been chosen to build a risk-limiting audit (RLA) system for the State of Colorado. Set to be used beginning with the November 2017 general election, this will be the first time in the United States that risk-limiting audits will be conducted on a regular, statewide basis. RLAs promote evidence-based confidence in election outcomes by comparing a random sampling of paper ballots to their corresponding digital versions.
Georgia 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 move follows a reports of cyberattacks that the Center failed to report in a timely manner. In a related and welcome development, Georgia lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have proposed on social media to work together on a voting system update.
Civil rights groups and minority lawmakers opened a redistricting trial arguing that the GOP-controlled Legislature illegally diluted the minority vote when it adopted temporary, court-ordered maps in 2013. Eight months ahead of the 2018 primaries, the trial is only the latest round in a long-running Texas saga over gerrymandering and race.
Wisconsin’s legislature is preparing to vote on a pair of bills that would enact stricter standards for election recounts. The impetus for this legislation was Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s successful recount petition after her distant finish in last year’s presidential election. The effect of the new provisions will make it even more difficult to get a recount.
Amid fears of vote rigging and violence, Kenyans will elect a president, a parliament and local politicians next month. A recent court decision to nullify the tender to print ballot papers, which had been awarded to a Dubai-based firm, has heightened tensions with the opposition claiming corruption and the preparation for the election cast in doubt.
International election observers have said problems with the electoral roll in Papua New Guinea that prevented thousands of people from voting are “widespread”. In its interim statement, the Commonwealth Observer Group called for an urgent review after the election to improve the accuracy of the roll.