Navigating the Digital World

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You might have heard about internet trolls “clogging” the precinct reporting hotline for the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) on caucus night. But, what really caused the massive delay in determining a winner was the apparent rush to implement a mobile app that the IDP asked precincts to use for reporting results.

Backlash Continues in Iowa Over Mobile App: The goal was to streamline reporting the results because there are more than 1,000 precincts in Iowa. But there were a host of cybersecurity risks: precinct captains had to download the app onto their personal phones, and the app itself was riddled with coding mistakes. A cybersecurity company obtained a copy of the app and are still examining what caused it to fail. (read more)

Nevada Democrats had planned on using the same app for its primary election, but quickly changed course after the fiasco in Iowa. Still, it doesn’t appear that much will be different. Precinct captains will now get an iPad with a different, pre-downloaded app to report results to the party’s headquarters. (read more)

Navigating the Digital World: Election security advocates may be one step closer to getting rid of voting machines with internet connectivity.

The Technical Guidelines Development Committee of the US Election Assistance Commission met Monday morning and voted unanimously to recommend passage of Voluntary Voting System Guidelines 2.0 (VVSG 2.0). Part of the guidelines, if passed by the entire commission, would prohibit voting machines that can connect to the internet

Although voting machines would no longer have access to the internet, electronic poll books still would in order to download and verify voter registrations, according to the nonprofit advocacy group Public Citizen. Still, it should be noted that these are just guidelines and not mandatory. Only time will tell whether voting machine vendors will comply. (read more)

GOP 2020 Watch — Purging the Voter Rolls: In Wisconsin, lawmakers said they were removing inactive voters and those that likely moved out of state. But more than 70 percent of people on the list voted in the 2016 presidential election, and almost 90 percent have voted in at least one election since 2006, according to an analysis by the Milwaukee Sun Sentinel of the planned purge. (read more)

Meanwhile, a federal judge dealt a major blow to a voter roll purge backed by Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp (who supervised his own race in 2018 as secretary of state). A freelance journalist sued for the state’s complete record on the purge, and Federal Judge Eleanor Ross called Kemp’s defense “so weak that no trial is needed.” (read more)

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