A critic of the states' election systems says North Carolina's public campaign is creating a false sense of security about the strengths of its defenses against malicious actors. Susan Greenhalgh with the advocacy group National Election Defense Coalition said later Thursday in a release that North Carolina election officials are "bringing a knife to a gun fight" by relying on standard election practices to attempt to block foreign hackers.
Under fire from the left and the right, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he’ll back a measure to give states another $250 million to upgrade their voting systems to fend off foreign intervention.
McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who has maintained for months that Democratic election security proposals are largely a sham, announced the move on the Senate floor on Thursday, saying he was “proud” to have helped develop the amendment to a federal spending bill.
Conservative activists are calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to support funding to upgrade voting machines across the country that critics argue are out of date and insecure.
Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and Freedomworks President Adam Brandon issued a call Wednesday for Congress to allocate additional money for election equipment upgrades and to mandate that elections use paper ballots that can be used for an independent audit.
On Election Day 2016, President Trump offered an unequivocal statement on how our elections should be run: “There’s something really nice about the old paper ballot system,” he told Fox News. “You don’t worry about hacking.”
Trump’s view is increasingly becoming the consensus position. There’s growing agreement that the United States needs action to ensure verifiable elections with paper ballots and audits — as well as to patch cybersecurity vulnerabilities and to upgrade dangerously old election infrastructure.
Interviews with 10 secretaries of state, conducted by the Hearst Television National Investigative Unit at the annual summer conference of the National Association of Secretaries of State held this year in Santa Fe, New Mexico, found unanimity across party lines.
When asked whether their states needed more money for election security, one secretary after another answered in the affirmative.
Organized by election-security advocates, 200 Pennsylvania voters filed a petition Tuesday seeking to force the Pennsylvania Department of State to reconsider its approval of a touchscreen voting machine selected by Philadelphia and other counties.
Those machines, the ExpressVote XL from election mega-vendor Election Systems & Software (ES&S), have security flaws and do not comply with the state Election Code, the voters say in their petition submitted by certified mail and email Tuesday. It was signed by voters from Allegheny, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Westmoreland Counties.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Pennsylvania’s message was clear: The state was taking a big step to keep its elections from being hacked in 2020. Last April, its top election official told counties they had to update their systems. So far, nearly 60% have taken action, with $14.15 million of mostly federal funds helping counties buy brand-new electoral systems.
But there’s a problem: Many of these new systems still run on old software that will soon be outdated and more vulnerable to hackers.
Officials from President Donald Trump’s administration will brief senators on election security on Wednesday amid bipartisan agreement that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, according to a senior Senate aide.
Wednesday’s briefing, requested by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), will be open to all senators and is expected to include officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, the aide said.
Earlier this year, Georgia’s Secure, Accessible, and Fair Elections Commission held a public meeting at the state capitol to answer a pressing question: What should Georgia do to replace its aging, touchscreen voting machines, as well as other parts of its election system? In the preceding years, security vulnerabilities in the state’s election system had been repeatedly exposed: by Russian operatives, friendly hackers, and even a Georgia voter who, just days ahead of the 2018 midterms, revealed that anyone could go online and gain access to the state’s voter registration database.
WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday approved expansive election security legislation that would mandate the use of backup paper ballots and postelection vote audits to guard against potential foreign meddling, seeking to pressure Senator Mitch McConnell to lift his blockade of election legislation in the upper chamber.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the top-polling candidate in the first Democratic presidential debate tonight, also has the most ambitious plan for how to protect U.S. elections from foreign hackers.
But that aim-for-the-fences approach, which Warren introduced in an eight-page blog post Tuesday, is sure to be a nonstarter among Republicans. And it will face serious scrutiny from some of Warren’s Democratic opponents who are championing a more practical approach to securing elections.
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s Secretary of State Connie Lawson is facing a lawsuit from a national cybersecurity group because her office has failed to turn over emails and other forms of communication on election security the group requested under public records laws.
The National Election Defense Coalition, a network of experts on elections, filed a lawsuit in Marion Superior Court Thursday saying Lawson has denied access to public records about the reliability and security of voting machines.