Days before the 2018 election, WhoWhatWhy exclusively reported that there were serious security vulnerabilities in a voter database in Georgia. Then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R), who was running for governor, accused Georgia Democrats of a failed hacking attempt just hours later.
Nearly a year and a half later, investigators have found no evidence backing up Kemp’s claims. Attention is now turning toward Kemp’s successor, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who is accused of repeating Kemp’s retaliatory tactics against critics of state officials and of Georgia’s new election equipment.
Marilyn Marks, executive director of the Coalition for Good Governance, is currently under investigation after she raised concerns about vulnerable touchscreen voting machines.
“Secretary Raffensperger is continuing the same ‘shoot the messenger’ retaliatory tactics toward critics of the new voting system by conducting threatening investigations on trumped-up allegations,” Marks told WhoWhatWhy. (read more)
Protecting the Vote and Public Health: Election officials took a number of safety precautions to ease voters’ concerns about the coronavirus on Super Tuesday. In California, curbside voting was made available for all voters. Voters would drive up to a designated cone, call a phone number that is listed, and wait for their ballot to come to them.
Meanwhile, some precincts encouraged poll workers to wipe down voting machines periodically to prevent the virus from spreading. In Massachusetts, voters were allowed to bring their own pen to their polling place. (read more)
Super Tuesday, Super Problems: Long wait times to vote, broken voting machines, and poll workers not showing up due to fears about the coronavirus were just some of the issues seen in the 14 states that voted last week.
At one point, “a wave of mysterious robocalls targeted Texas voters, telling Republicans and independents to show up to the polls and Democrats to vote the next day.” (read more)
In Conversation With FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub: President Donald Trump’s only nominee to the FEC, Trey Trainor, will finally receive a confirmation hearing Tuesday despite concerns about his past legal representation for dark money groups and gerrymandering efforts in Texas. But even if Trainor is confirmed, the FEC is still in the middle of its greatest crisis.
WhoWhatWhy recently sat down with Weintraub, who just ended her term as chair, to talk about leadership PACs, the agency’s missing quorum, and what the future holds for campaign finance reform efforts. (read more)
Victory for Fair Maps Advocates: Virginia’s Democratic-led House of Delegates voted last week to add a ballot measure in November that would amend the state’s constitution and establish an independent redistricting commission. (read more)
WhoWhatWhy and readers’ picks of the week:
L.A. County Voters Encounter Hours-long Waits and Glitches With Brand New System (Los Angeles Times)
Why Trump and the RNC Are Spending $10M to Fight Democrats’ Voting Rights Lawsuits (Washington Post)
Laws in Many Republican-Led States Make It Harder for College Students to Vote (Chicago Tribune)
Watchdog Sues to Force Facebook to Reveal Political Ad Sponsor (Bloomberg Gov)