A new open letter to state election officials urges them to think broadly about election security and to spend their new federal dollars wisely in order to harden the U.S. election system against attacks.
County election officials in Arizona are unhappy after the state House Speaker cut weekend voting from a compromise election bill in the Grand Canyon State. It’s a typical story in the relationship between local election officials and their state legislatures; as hard as it may be to get bipartisan local support for election changes, it means nothing if lawmakers – especially ones in leadership – can’t or won’t go along.
Two U.S. Senators are pushing forward on their effort to have Congress follow up on its omnibus election funding with a broader bill – S. 2261, the “Secure Elections Act” – to support state election security efforts. Some state doubts remain – and the likelihood of a bill getting through Congress in the current election year environment is slim – but it’s encouraging to see that state officials and key Senators recognize that the recent omnibus funding is merely a start and not a solution for the cybersecurity challenges facing states.
Last week, William and Mary Law School hosted an election security event featuring a mock argument focused on a cybersecurity issue – and the latest electionlineWeekly featues a roundup of that highlights the numerous fascinating issues that election cybersecurity presents for election officials at every level of government.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that he will use an executive order to restore the voting rights of tens of thousands of parolees in the Empire State. While most of the coverage has focused on politics, such a policy will bring administrative challenges that the state will need to work through. It’s a huge step for a big state.
A dispute between tenants at Queens’ Lefrak City and the NYC Board of Elections over a relocated polling place is a vivid reminder that while “big” changes of election law and policy get lots of attention, “little” changes like polling locations can generate as much if not more heat.
New Jersey is poised to become the latest state to enact automatic voter registration with the announcement by Governor Phil Murphy that he will sign an AVR bill today.
Georgia’s Secretary of State has announced he is forming (and will co-chair) a bipartisan commission aimed at identifying and reviewing alternatives to the state’s aging voting technology. It’s just an announcement for now, and there are many more steps to go – not the least of which is naming other members and starting the work – but this puts the Peach State on the list of states trying to move forward past their HAVA-era machines toward something new.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be moving to voter-verifiable voting systems as one consequence of new federal funding for new voting equipment. While not every state will have the same policy shifts that Pennsylvania is establishing, you can expect similar announcements in other states in the coming weeks and months.
With the 2018 elections approaching – featuring high-profile fights for control of Congress and numerous key state races – we are already starting to see high interest in voting rules, including new match requirements in Georgia that could complicate voter registration for voters using paper forms.