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Voting & Elections 01.12.2020

Times Union (Op-Ed): New voting machines would be a step backward

Hacked machines. Undercounted elections. Broken touchscreens. Impatient voters. Sound like a nightmare? It could be a reality for millions of New York voters as early as April. For years, the voting machine company ES&S has spent more than $600,000 lobbying New York officials to purchase certain machines, including ExpressVote XL, and soon they might get the green light. The machine provides a touchscreen allowing voters to mark their ballot electronically instead of on the traditional paper ballots. It then tabulates votes.

Voting & Elections 09.29.2019

The Independent: ‘Not enough has been done’: US election security still vulnerable to Russia heading into 2020 – even with new funding, experts warn

Karen Hobert Flynn, the president of the activist group Common Cause, says McConnell’s decision to support funding is a “step in the right direction”, but that the funding “still falls far short” of what is needed to solve the problem. “Election systems across the country have been breached by Russian intelligence assets and those attacks continue to this day,” she adds. “These attacks and those of other hostile foreign powers will continue to ramp up as we approach the 2020 elections, and cash-strapped local elections officials desperately need significant federal assistance. The federal government must step in to provide the resources and the expertise to help states and local governments secure the integrity of their election systems against sophisticated foreign cyber attacks.”

Voting & Elections 09.19.2019

NBC News: McConnell changes position and backs $250 million for election security

Aaron Scherb, director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, said that far more is needed to secure the election system. "Providing $250 million in additional election security funding is like asking an army to go fight a war with horses and bayonets," Scherb said. The House passed a bill that would give states nearly three times more — $600 million.

Voting & Elections 08.12.2019

Governing: Are States Taking Cybersecurity Seriously Enough?

“Cabinet-level positions reflect priorities,” says John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, which is focused on election security. “Eliminating this independent office has lowered the priority of cybersecurity in Rhode Island state government.”

Voting & Elections 05.15.2019

Miami Herald: The FBI classified the names of Florida’s hacked election offices. We contacted all 67.

“2016 proved that foreign governments have much to gain from meddling in our elections,” said Liza McClenaghan, chairwoman of the Florida board of voting advocacy group Common Cause. “More attacks are on the way.”

Voting & Elections 01.22.2019

The New Yorker: How Voting-Machine Lobbyists Undermine the Democratic Process

Something similar happened last fall in Delaware, where the Voting Equipment Selection Task Force also voted to replace its aging touch-screen machines with a variant of the ExpressVote system. When Jennifer Hill, at Common Cause Delaware, a government-accountability group, obtained all the bids from a public-records request, she found that “the Department of Elections had pretty much tailored the request for proposal in a way that eliminated venders whose primary business was to sell paper-ballot systems.” Hill also noted that a lobbyist for E.S. & S., who was “well-connected in the state,” helped “to shepherd this whole thing through.” 

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