Researchers at MIT say the voting app Voatz, which is being used by at least 4 states in the 2020 elections, has major security flaws that could allow an attacker to intercept and alter votes, while making voters think their votes have been cast correctly, or trick the votes server into accepting connections from an attacker. Read the rest
The broken voting app that failed spectacularly in the Iowa Democratic caucus just hints at the fragility of the voting system in the U.S. This Verge video explores the reasons for and implications of an unreliable and exploitable voting system, as well as ways to mitigate the problems. Read the rest
“They identify an issue that they know that the American people feel passionately about on both sides and then they take both sides and spin them up so they pit us against each other. And then they combine that with an effort to weaken our confidence in our elections and our democratic institutions which has been a pernicious and asymmetric way of engaging in affect information warfare.”
— FBI Director Chris Wray, Feb. 5, 2020
On Wednesday, FBI Director Chris Wray said Russia is targeting Americans with an ongoing “information warfare” campaign that is likely to intensify as the nation heads into the 2020 presidential election. Read the rest
If you think the Electoral College should be scrapped because it sometimes results in getting a candidate elected that most of its citizens didn't vote for, then you might not have to wait forever for a Constitutional amendment to abolish it.
In his latest video, CPG Grey outlines a plan to subvert Electoral College using the Electoral College, called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The idea is to get States to "agree to cast their Electoral College votes for the candidate who gets the most votes from citizens nationwide."
Here's a map showing which states have already enacted the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact into law. As you might expect, states that usually vote for the Democratic candidate like this bill more than states the vote Republican. Read the rest
Ooh, this is awesome. Activists have made a free font called Gerry that is made from the shapes of gerrymandered congressional districts. They encourage you to use it to write your representative.
The Next Web:
The font’s creators, Ben Doessel and James Lee, made it to raise awareness and provide a method for disenfranchised voters to protest partisan gerrymandering. The duo, in a press release provided to the media, stated:
"After seeing how janky our Illinois 4th district had become, we became interested in this issue. We noticed our district’s vague, but shaky U-shape, then after seeing other letters on the map, the idea hit us, let’s create a typeface so our districts can become digital graffiti that voters and politicians can’t ignore."
For those unfamiliar with gerrymandering, it’s the process by which US voting districts use increasingly nonsensical borders to disenfranchise voters and limit who they can vote for by party lines instead of geography.
screenshot via UglyGerry.com Read the rest
Spread The Vote is a non-profit that works to help educate and empower voters on the voting and political process. Boing Boing invited the group to help everyone understand how primary elections work, and how you can participate in them if you are an eligible U.S. voter. Sign up for their state-specific voter education packages, which are really an amazing educational resource. —Xeni Jardin
UNDERSTANDING PRIMARY ELECTIONS,
from SPREAD THE VOTE.
When most voters think of election day, they likely imagine a general election where they vote to determine which candidate on the ballot will win the position of elected office. However, voters may be less familiar with primary elections. This may explain, in part, why voter turnout is so different for general and primary elections. That’s where Spread The Vote comes in. We want every eligible voter to understand and participate in primary elections because they are such an important element of our democracy. Read the rest
The official cyberwarfare division of America's military successfully blocked off Internet access for the Russian government's notorious “troll factory” on the day of the 2018 U.S. midterm elections. Read the rest
For all of you in the U.S., no doubt your feeds are filling up with your friends showing off their "I Voted" stickers (and if they're not, uh, better get some new friends). But are their stickers as cool as the ones from Alaska?
Artist Pat Race of Juneau was hired to design these little "I Voted" beauties for the State of Alaska Division of Elections. Race's pro-voting animals not only appeared on the Land of the Midnight Sun's stickers but also on their Official Election Pamphlets.
At least one Alaskan is trying to collect all eight designs:
Prints of the designs are available directly from the artist. Prices start at $10.
image via Kyle Miller Read the rest
Why does Ivanka Trump need trademarks for nursing homes, sausage casing, and *voting machines* in China? Or do we not want to know. Read the rest
Georgia voters are in a battle against their own Secretary of State for the right to vote. This week a Federal court tried to ensure citizens forced to provisional ballots are given the ability to confirm their vote, and to contest claims their signature was not their own.
Via USA Today:
Read the rest
"The court does not understand how assuring that all eligible voters are permitted to vote undermines integrity of the election process," May said. "To the contrary, it strengthens it."
"Permitting an absentee voter to resolve an alleged signature discrepancy ... has the very tangible benefit of avoiding disenfranchisement," said the judge, a nominee of President Barack Obama.
May gave lawyers until noon Thursday to comment on whether the language in her order is “confusing or will be unworkable.”
Her decision was applauded by Sophia Lakin, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney.
“This ruling protects the people of Georgia from those who seek to undermine their right to vote," Lakin said. "It’s a huge victory, especially with the midterms just days away."
Candice Broce, spokeswoman for the Georgia secretary of state’s office, declined to comment and referred all questions to the attorney general’s office.
Writer and comedian Demi Adejuyigbe (The Good Place, The Late Late Show) explains how and why folks should vote in this cute PSA video.
Vote. It's not a test. It's ok to look at your phone, or bring a cheat sheet, or just leave stuff blank... After all, it's a free country... for now.
[Pssst... Register to vote.]
(Daring Fireball) Read the rest
The State of Maryland got a bit of a surprise when the FBI informed state officials the contractor responsible for much of Maryland's voting infrastructure was, unbeknownst to Maryland, purchased by a Russian oligarch in 2015.
Via CBS News:
Read the rest
"We were briefed late yesterday, along with Governor Hogan, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the software vendor who maintains portions of the State Board of Elections voter registration platform was purchased by a Russian investor in 2015, without the knowledge of state officials," Maryland State Senate President Thomas Mike Miller, Jr. and Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch, said in a joint statement Friday.
State officials say they were told they were told their voter registration system, ByteGrid LLC, is financed by AltPoint Capital Partners, whose fund manager is "a Russian" and largest investor is Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin. ByteGrid LLC performs a vast array of voting-related functions for the state, including voter registration, the state's online voter registration system, online ballot delivery and unofficial election night results.
"While the FBI did not indicate that there was a breach, we were concerned enough to ask Attorney General [Brian] Frosh to review the existing contractual obligation of the state, as well as asked for a review of the system to ensure there have been no breaches," Miller and Busch said.
We have also instructed the State Board of Elections to complete all due diligence to give the voters of Maryland confidence in the integrity of the election system. We are also asking the federal Department of Homeland Security Election Task Force to assist the State Board of Elections for any corrective action deemed necessary."
This isn't a long post, but damn it's an important one. Read the rest
Ithaca's free alt-weekly The Ithaca Times printed a New York State voter registration form on their cover this week. The medium is the message.
Read the rest
The latest read from Alex Stamos bears an appropriately grim title. Read the rest
Last October, the Supreme Court heard argument in Gill v. Whitford, a Wisconsin gerrymandering case that has far-reaching implications for the November midterms in 2018; the court is expected to rule next June.
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Since the 2000 Bush-Gore election crisis and the hanging-chad controversy, voting machine vendors have been offering touchscreen voting machines as a solution to America's voting woes -- and security researchers have been pointing out that the products on offer were seriously, gravely defective. Read the rest