Read Articles by Issue

Ensure Election Integrity
End Voter Suppression
Protect Voting Rights
End Spoiler Effect

Was the Heated 2016 Democratic Primary Rigged for Debbie Wasserman Schultz?

December 10, 2017 - Alternet

Newly uncovered data have shocked election experts and administrators.

In August 2016, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz faced off against progressive maverick and Bernie Sanders supporter Tim Canova—her first-ever primary challenger—after six terms in Congress.

Just weeks earlier she had been forced to resign as head of the Democratic National Committee after stolen emails showed her talking smack about Senator Sanders and leaning on the scales in favor of her ally Hillary Clinton. Canova focused the national outrage against her, raising over $3 million, and turning the congressional election into a referendum on her policies and ethics. But with a 13.5% victory she overcame questions about her political viability and returned triumphantly to her job in Washington.

Read more
1 reaction Share

The Computer Scientist Who Prefers Paper

December 1, 2017 - The Atlantic

lead_960.jpgFor years, Barbara Simons was the loneliest of Cassandras—a technologist who feared what technology had wrought. Her cause was voting: Specifically, she believed that the electronic systems that had gained favor in the United States after the 2000 presidential election were shoddy, and eminently hackable. She spent years publishing opinion pieces in obscure journals with titles like Municipal World and sending hectoring letters to state officials, always written with the same clipped intensity.

Simons, who is now 76, had been a pioneer in computer science at IBM Research at a time when few women not in the secretarial pool walked its halls. In her retirement, however, she was coming off as a crank. Fellow computer scientists might have heard her out, but to the public officials she needed to win over, the idea that software could be manipulated to rig elections remained a fringe preoccupation. Simons was not dissuaded. “They didn’t know what they were talking about and I did,” she told me.

Read more
1 reaction Share

What Happened in the 2016 Recount

November 30, 2017 - L.A. Progressive

2016-recount-720.jpgMost of us know that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein attempted to recount some votes after the 2016 election, but few of us understand what actually happened with the recount. The media questioned her motives and trivialized her reasons, but understanding the problems she unearthed is important to recognizing the serious problems with elections in the United States. Although there were problems in many states, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania handed the Electoral College to Donald Trump by razor-thin margins. Michigan’s margin of victory was 0.3%; Wisconsin’s was 0.7%, and Pennsylvania’s was 1.2%. In all three states, Clinton had been ahead in the polls.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Santa Fe ordered to implement ranked-choice voting

November 29, 2017 - Albuquerque Journal

em112917a-900x625.jpgSANTA FE — Santa Fe is set to become the first city in New Mexico to use ranked-choice voting after a state district court judge ruled that the city can’t postpone implementation of the election system any longer now that appropriate vote-counting software is ready to go.

Attorneys for the city said after Wednesday’s court hearing that it would be up to policy makers — the City Council — to decide whether to appeal the decision. Santa Fe voters approved a change to ranked choice voting, also known as “instant runoff,” nine years ago, but it has never been used.

A group of Santa Feans sued after the City Council decided in July to delay implementing ranked-choice until 2020 due to concerns that software would not be ready for the 2018 campaign and more time was needed to educate voters about the voting method.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Count Wisconsin's votes--accurately!

September 26, 2017 - Wisconsin Election Integrity

ShreddedBallot.jpgOur hand count documented: In the 6 audited wards, 1 in every 40 presidential votes remained uncounted as county officials declared results final. Results for individual wards and candidates are here.  

“If an Elmwood Park poll worker had been grabbing the ballot from every twentieth voter and ripping it up, while county election officials looked on and did nothing, this result would have been pretty much the same.”

“The poll workers were not throwing out votes,” Racine voter Scott Farnsworth explained. “The problem is that county canvass officials have no process in place to notice or correct predictable electronic miscounts.”

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Colorado embarks on a first-of-its-kind election audit that’s drawing interest from out of state

November 16, 2017 - Denver Post

denver_ballot_drop_309.jpg“It’s a huge deal in the election world,” said Lynn Bartels, of the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

Colorado is embarking on a first-of-its-kind, statewide election audit that seeks to validate the accuracy of the state’s ballot-counting machines amid national concern about election integrity.

The so-called risk-limiting audit involves a manual recount of a sample of ballots from 56 counties that had elections this year to compare them with how they were interpreted by tabulating machines.

The exercise is drawing observers from Rhode Island, as well as top federal voting-oversight officials.

“It’s a huge deal in the election world,” said Lynn Bartels, spokeswoman for the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, which is implementing the audit.

Colorado’s audit is the first in the U.S., and is the result of a bill passed by state lawmakers in 2009. The first audit was supposed to happen in 2014, but getting the right technology in place and training completed took until last week’s elections.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Dem rep's bill would require paper voting, recounts in close elections

November 8, 2017 - The Hill

vote_election538614862.jpgA new bill would require states to use voting machines with paper backups and conduct audits in close elections.

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) introduced the Safeguarding Election Infrastructure Act on Wednesday, which aims to increase elections security by requiring voting machines funded by the federal Help America Vote Act print a paper receipt of each vote.

"Our democracy depends on free and fair elections, and we must do everything we can to protect the security and integrity of that process," said Dingell in a written statement.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Securing the vote: How 'paper' can protect US elections from foreign invaders

November 7, 2017 - Christian Science Monitor

1107-DDP-voting.jpgIn 2016, more than 20 percent of American voters cast their ballots on voting machines that did not produce a verifiable paper trail. For experts, that's a gaping vulnerability, but one that can be addressed.

When Logan Lamb visited the website of Georgia’s Center for Election Systems in Aug. 2016, what he found left him speechless.

Although the cybersecurity researcher had no password or special authorization, he was able through a Google search to download the state’s voter registration list, view files with Election Day passwords, and access what appeared to be databases used to prepare ballots, tabulate votes, and summarize vote totals.

He also discovered a vulnerability that would allow anyone to take full control of a server used for Georgia’s elections.

It was everything a Russian hacker – or any malicious intruder – might need to disrupt the vote in Georgia.

“Had the bad guys wanted to just completely own the central election system, they could have,” Mr. Lamb told the Monitor in an interview.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Georgia election server wiped days after lawsuit

October 26, 2017 - The Hill

u.s._voters.jpgDays after activists filed a lawsuit over the security of Georgia's election systems, the university housing the servers at the center of the case wiped them of all data.

The servers had been in the possession of the Center for Elections Systems (CES) at Kennesaw State University, which had been contracted to maintain Georgia's election systems. The state ended its relationship with Kennesaw State in July. 

According to emails retrieved by one of the plaintiffs in that case through an open records request and provided to The Hill, information technology (IT) staff first confirmed deleting files from the system on July 7 — four days after the suit was filed. 

Read more
1 reaction Share

City Board of Elections Admits It Broke the Law, Accepts Reforms

October 24, 2017 - WNYC

Screen_Shot_2017-12-08_at_4.38.30_PM.pngThe New York City Board of Elections is admitting it broke state and federal law when it improperly removed voters from the rolls ahead of the presidential primary last spring, including more than 117,000 voters in Brooklyn.

That’s according to a draft consent decree announced Tuesday— nearly a year after the Board was sued in federal court for violating the National Voter Registration Act and state election law.

The Brooklyn voter purge was first reported by WNYC just days before last spring’s primary election.

As a part of the settlement, the Board agreed to a series of remedial measures that will be in place at least through the next presidential election, November 2020 — pending court approval. The deal restores the rights of improperly purged voters and establishes a comprehensive plan to prevent illegal voter purges in future elections.

Read more
1 reaction Share