Our coverage of Scrutineers

Triana Arnold James, Georgia, special election

Mobilizing Voters for the Georgia Runoff: Scrutineers, Part X

While the candidates in the Georgia Senate runoff campaign work to get votes in their corner, dozens of nonpartisan and community groups are making sure voters have the information they need about when, where, why, and how to vote. 

 

Typical voter turnout in a runoff election in Georgia is an abysmal 15 percent. Largely due to massive organizing efforts, turnout in this runoff has reached that level in just the first few days of early voting. Even organizations not usually seen as focused on voting rights are playing a key role.

In this episode, Triana View article …

Dekalb County, election worker

Noise About GA’s Election System: Scrutineers, Part IX

Republicans calling for the resignation of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger are echoing some of the findings of long-time nonpartisan election security advocates in the state.

In this episode of the Scrutineers Series, Jeanne Dufort, a volunteer with the Coalition for Good Governance, shares background about the challenges to some of the state’s decisions about how to conduct its elections. The group is partly responsible for ending the state’s use of the insecure and dangerously outdated DRE voting equipment before 2020.

Dufort and Levy talk about the voting systems in the View article …

Maricopa County, vote here

Election Transparency Can Be Achieved: Scrutineers, Part VIII

Protecting Out Vote 2020

 

Nearly 100 percent of votes cast in the US are counted by “black box” computers, generally owned by one of three private companies with partisan ties. These voting system vendors have insisted even government officials can’t see their software, claiming proprietary information.

 

These companies have successfully managed to keep private the means by which our votes are counted, even though the voting apparatuses are paid for by public dollars.

 

As a result, there is extremely limited insight into the actual mechanisms by which View article …

See Something Say Something, SeeSay2020

Publicly Mapping Election Problems: Scrutineers, Part VII

You go to vote and discover that the polling place is closed or the machinery isn’t working. What do you do?

You call the election protection hotlines, and they may be able to send out attorneys to help solve the problem. But how can you alert others, including the media?

In today’s Scrutineers podcast, host Emily Levy speaks with Deepak Puri, the founder of “See Something Say Something,” a public tool to address these issues. It debuted during the 2018 midterms and is being refined and re-released for the general election this year as View article …

mail-in ballot, ballot, drop off

Trying to Stop the Election Attacks: Scrutineers, Part VI

A recent Public Service Announcement from the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warns that cybercriminals may circulate false election results. 

 

The PSA encourages the public only to trust election results coming from local and state election offices. What are the implications of this given that election officials cannot see inside the insecure, software-based systems that produce those results? 

 

Scrutineers Series host Emily Levy is her own “guest,” in this episode, talking about how the election protection community should act in an environment where the elections must be protected both from unsecured View article …

Dear Candidate

Candidates Must Protect Election Security: Scrutineers, Part V

Elections rightly belong to the public. Yet not only does the US allow proprietary voting systems, but laws in many states specify that only candidates have the legal right to challenge election outcomes.

 

Because of this, candidates for public office must start taking their unique role in election protection seriously. It is a huge responsibility, says today’s guest, April Smith, who is a volunteer with Scrutineers.

 

To make it easier for candidates to understand their role, Smith has created a template letter that people can send to candidates running for View article …

Problems with Electronic Poll Books: Scrutineers, Part IV

In this episode of the Scrutineers Series, host Emily Levy interviews election security advocate and social media influencer Jennifer Cohn about the dangers of electronic pollbooks. E-poll books are used around the US to check in voters as they arrive at their precincts. Because the poll books are software-driven and use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, they’re vulnerable to manipulation and malfunction. And when voters can’t check in smoothly, long lines result, disenfranchising them.

 

Cohn and Levy discuss the risks of e-poll book technology and the vendors hawking these systems to jurisdictions around the country. They shine a View article …

Mimi Kennedy

Mimi Kennedy Takes On the 'Surrender Rule': Scrutineers, Part III

In a year when 50 percent of voters or more are expected to vote by mail in the general election, a little-known issue could require millions to vote by provisional ballots.

 

In this episode of the Scrutineers Series, Emily Levy interviews long-time election protection activist Mimi Kennedy, who is currently working on nationwide research for voter education to prevent disenfranchisement meant to thwart voters unfamiliar with mail voting rules in their county and state.

 

In this interview, Levy and Kennedy discuss “the surrender rule,” a term coined by Kennedy outlining the problem that View article …

Mimi Kennedy

How One Simple Administrative Problem Could Impact Election Outcomes: Scrutineers Series, Part III

In a year when 50 percent of voters or more are expected to vote by mail in the general election, a little-known issue could require millions to vote by provisional ballots.

 

In this episode of the Scrutineers Series, Emily Levy interviews long-time election protection activist Mimi Kennedy, who is currently working on nationwide research for voter education to prevent disenfranchisement meant to thwart voters unfamiliar with mail voting rules in their county and state.

 

In this interview, Levy and Kennedy discuss “the surrender rule,” a term coined by Kennedy outlining the problem that View article …

Bennie Smith

Scrutineers Series, Part II - Bennie Smith

What happens when a financial analytics manager applies his skills to how we determine the winners of elections?

 

In this episode of WhoWhatWhy’s Scrutineers Series, Emily Levy interviews Bennie Smith, an election commissioner in Memphis, TN. When losers of a local election came to him claiming their races had been stolen, he set out to prove them wrong. 

 

Instead, he discovered a high-risk tampering mechanism built into US election systems. 

 

Smith explains what he found, its implications, and how election officials and members of the public can detect this “feature” View article …

One Week Left Until Election Day

WhoWhatWhy’s Election Integrity Weekly is written by Gabriella Novello, and edited by William Dowell and Sue Rushford. Have a tip or want to suggest a story? Send us an email at ei@whowhatwhy.org.

 

One Week Left Until Election Day: Everything about this election is View article …

America Decides 2020: Provisional Voting, Explained

Protecting Out Vote 2020

 

President Trump ignored the pleas of election officials across the country and once again, during a virtual rally last week, urged voters to commit what amounts to a federal crime by voting twice. 

 

Millions of voters have requested an absentee ballot for the November election, and many will be voting by mail for the first time. Although voters are not allowed to intentionally vote twice, voters who did not receive their mail-in ballots in time, or who are not View article …

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