One Pennsylvania county official claims his voting machines are unhackable. Another admits hers are old, but the county can’t afford to buy new ones. A third says he’s waiting for the state to tell him which new voting machines are safest for Pennsylvania voters.
At a time of national concern over foreign interference in U.S. elections, 57 percent of the voters in Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia’s, are casting their ballots on machines that are outdated, hackable, and don’t provide a paper record of each vote to safeguard against fraud.
After Texas, Pennsylvania has the most registered voters using machines with no paper trail, according to Verified Voting, a nonpartisan group promoting trustworthy voting systems.
In February, Gov. Wolf and Secretary of State Robert Torres told counties that any voting machines they buy must be able to produce a paper record for each individual vote. The state didn’t include any funding to help counties purchase new equipment and hasn’t yet certified any models.Read more
Gov. Tom Wolf wants Pennsylvania counties to replace and upgrade their voting machines before the 2020 election. Under the plan, counties would use machines that create a paper backup as an added layer of security and accountability.
While key details, including cost, financing and the specific machines counties can choose from still need to be worked out, here are important things to know about the process.
How would the new system work?
A growing national trend is a system in which each voter creates a paper ballot that is then scanned into a statewide collection system. Differences among systems involve when the ballots are printed, who scans them into the system and where the scanning takes place. Once scanned, the votes can be tallied quickly.
The state is reviewing voting machines and plans to release a list of approved devices by autumn. Counties can only buy voting machines on the list.Read more
A federal judge has found Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in contempt of courtfor disobeying a court order in a case testing that state's controversial proof-of-citizenship voting law.
U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson says Kobach violated her preliminary injunction to allow some potentially ineligible voters to remain eligible to cast a ballot, pending the outcome of the lawsuit.
The judge found that the Kansas secretary of state, who has crusaded against voter fraud, failed to update his office's website informing some new voter applicants that they were still eligible to vote. She also found that Kobach's office did not send postcards to such voters, who had not shown proof-of-citizenship documents when they registered, as the judge required.
Kobach is a Republican who had led President Trump's now-disbanded commission on voter fraud. He is currently running for governor of Kansas.Read more
I recently heard on cable news that special counsel Robert Mueller wanted to interview some “Russian oligarchs” about their supposed influence on the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Liberal talking heads at such organizations as MSNBC and CNN keep warning that nothing has been done yet to protect the integrity of our voting process against “Russian interference” as the 2018 midterm elections loom ever closer on the nation’s horizon.
What about the American oligarchs, I wondered, people like businessman Richard Uihlein, who regularly distort U.S. elections at every level—local, state and federal? Who will protect our “democracy” from the plutocratic “wealth primary” power of the American oligarchy?Read more
The massive spending bill President Trump signed into law on Friday includes enough money to replace voting machines that leave no paper trail, a top priority for many election officials and cybersecurity experts. But according to a new analysis, it seems unlikely that's how the money will be spent.
The analysis, published by New York University's Brennan Center for Justice, says it would cost somewhere between $200-$400 million to replace every electronic voting machine in the U.S. that doesn't create a paper ballot or receipt. More than a dozen states still use these types of machines, despite concerns that they are vulnerable to hacking or manipulation without a trace.Read more
He decided to take his case to court. And, after six years, he feels vindicated.
A judge recently approved a settlement in a federal lawsuit filed by the Green and other minor parties that challenged Pennsylvania’s process to get on the general election ballot. There’s now a 5,000 cap on the number of signatures third-party candidates need and candidates no longer must pay hefty legal fees if they lose a challenge to their nominating petitions.
“It’s much better. It’s very fair. It’s achievable,” Romanelli, 58, said Monday.Read more
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
Most 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
“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
The 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.
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