December 2017

Shhhh … SC Seeks to Keep Election Cybersecurity Details a Secret

South Carolina’s Election Commission has sought and received an attorney general’s opinion clearing the way for the state to keep cybersecurity details about its election system secret. It’s a change from the usual commitment to transparency – and a challenge likely to face more election offices for the foreseeable future.

DHS Launches Private Sector Election Cybersecurity Group

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is expanding its efforts in protecting the nation’s election infrastructure by convening a council of private-sector firms who assist state and local election officials nationwide. It’s a welcome recognition that broadening the conversation to all necessary parties is crucial to identifying, detecting and resisting cyberthreats to the nation’s election systems.

Adventureland U? ElectionlineWeekly on EAC Cybersecurity Workshop in Iowa

This week’s electionlineWeekly takes us to Iowa, where the U.S. Election Assistance Commission recently presented a new workshop focused on election cybersecurity. It’s evidence of how the EAC has been adapting its existing resources in voting technology to help the election field cope – and, candidly, catch up – with the sudden and intense focus on securing the nation’s elections from cyberthreats.

DuPage County, IL Voters to Weigh In On Elimination of Election Commission

DuPage County, IL – one of Chicago’s suburban “collar” counties – will soon ask voters if they want to eliminate the County’s election commission and return all election duties to the county clerk. It’s a story that provides a reminder of the limited authority of local governments to restructure without state approval as well as the ongoing balance between effective administration and the insulation from partisanship in elections.

EAC’s “Recount Ready” Launches Featuring Okaloosa, FL’s Paul Lux

Yesterday, the EAC launched a new “Recount Ready” feature focusing on election officials and their experiences preparing for and conducting recounts and post-election contests in close elections. The debut post features an interview of Okaloosa County, FL’s Paul Lux on the December 12 anniversary of the 2001 Bush v. Gore decision. It’s a fantastic resource for election officials facing close elections in their communities.

Double Your Fun? Some Alabama Voters to Face Two Votes, Two Lines Today

All eyes are on Alabama’s special U.S. Senate election today, but in one community there will actually be “double the fun” in the form of a second election – with its own ballot and check-in table (and some split precincts for good measure). It’s a small story, to be sure, but it highlights how the nation’s electoral map can create interesting challenges for election officials and voters alike.

Snohomish County, WA Lawsuit to Seek Funds for Expanded Ballot Drop Boxes

Snohomish County (Everett), WA is preparing a lawsuit that will ask the state to fund the increase in costs related to newly-mandated ballot drop boxes. It’s just the latest example of the struggle many localities face in finding the funds to implement state election law changes without a commensurate change in state election funding.