What We're Reading

Election Officials Under Attack - Brennan Center for Justice and Bipartisan Policy Center report on attacks against election officials and a plan to protect them.

Examining the U.S. Capitol Attack - a Review of the Security, Planning and Response Failures on January 6 - U.S. Senate bipartisan committee staff report released June 8 2021

California's Little Hoover Commission releases new report, California Election Infrastructure: Making a Good System Better (April 2021)

Election Integrity Partnership Releases Final Report on Mis- and Disinformation in 2020 U.S. Election (March 2, 2021)

Covering elections showed me California votes were secure - by Lewis Griswold, CalMatters

States that provide notice and opportunity to cure signature defect after election day and Voting Rights Litigation 2020 Summary - research and charts from the Brennan Center for Justice 

Improving California's Vote-by-Mail Process by Reducing Ballot Rejection: A Three-County Study - CVF's new report on findings from our study on ballot rejection, published September 2020. 

Problems and Promise:  Assessing Los Angeles County's New Voting System Rollout in the March 2020 Primary Election, with 36 Recommendations for Improvement, by Kiyana Asemenafar, California Common Cause, July 2020 

What went wrong in LA County on March 3rd? Stories in the Los Angeles Times and Politico detail the post-election investigation and report from the Registrar's office while Courthouse News Service looks into the review conducted by an outside agency, a summary of which was released on June 19th.  

Georgia Was A Mess. Here’s What Else We Know About The June 9 Elections.

By Nathaniel Rakich and Geoffrey Skelley, FiveThirtyEight, June 10, 2020

Recount costs soar as county begins tracking down Long Beach ballots

Long Beach Post reporter Jason Ruiz reports on the extraordinary high costs voters seeking a recount of a Long Beach measure face in Los Angeles County's new vote center voting system. 

Coronavirus May Disrupt the 2020 Election. We Need a Plan
Quarantines and fear could decimate voter turnout. Congress needs to fund mail-in ballots nationwide now.

By Jon Stokes, Wired Magazine, February 24, 2020

Is LA County Heading For A Confusing March 3 Primary? Voters Face This Gauntlet Of Changes

By Libby Denkman, KPCC/LAist, February 13, 2020

Data Suggests Many Counties Lag on Website Encryption

By Ben Miller, Government Technology, February 6, 2020

State OKs LA County's New Voting Machines — With A Whole Lot Of Caveats

By Libby Denkmann, KPCC Radio/LAist

Can Voters Detect Malicious Manipulation of Ballot Marking Devices?

Academic paper by the University of Michigan's Alex Halderman, Matthew Bernard et al, published January 2020

Just How Regulated Are Our Nation’s Elections?

By Hadley Hitson, Fortune Magazine

As 2020 Approaches, Some Experienced Election Officials Head To The Exits

By Pam Fessler, National Public Radio 

The Way America Votes Is Broken. In One Rural County, a Nonprofit Showed a Way Forward.

By ProPublica's Jessica Huseman

Election Security Isn't That Hard

Politico op-ed co-authored by former California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, who was responsible for ushering in voter-verifeid paper audit trails in California, explains how states can secure their voting systems with paper ballots, chain of custody requirements and post-election audits. 

OC Supervisors Back Off Uncertified Voting Machine Vendor

Voice of OC reports on how Orange County supervisors backed off efforts to pick a lower-ranked, uncertified vendor for voting and ballot counting machines in next year’s high-stakes elections

Is a Widely Adopted New Voting System Ready for 2020?

Steven Rosenfeld with Independent Media Institute takes a close look at ES&S' Express Vote ballot marking device.

Inside the DEF Con hacker conference's election security Voting Village

Axios takes an in-depth look at election security's biggest event.

Feds don't regulate election equipment, so states are on their own

Pew's Stateline reports on the limited role the federal government plays in ensuring our elections are secure and whether states and voting equipment vendors are effective in filling in the gap.

Software vendor may have opened a gap for hackers in 2016 swing state

Kim Zetter reports for Politico on how a Florida election software company targeted by Russians in 2016 inadvertently opened a potential pathway for hackers...

...to tamper with voter records in North Carolina on the eve of the presidential election.

The vote-by-phone tech trend is scaring the life out of security experts

The Los Angeles Times' Evan Halper examines the latest attempt to roll out Internet voting, through mobile devices, which security experts are loudly warning against. 

Is California's new voting system a success? We may not know until 2020

The Los Angeles Times' John Myers takes a look at the Voter's Choice Act, a new approach to voting that some California counties adopted in 2018, with more to follow in 2020. 

Meet The Lawyer Arguing Against Partisan Gerrymandering Before the Supreme Court

Johnny Kauffman reports for NPR's All Things Considered on Emmet Jopling Bondurant II, the lawyer arguing before the Supreme Court against partisan redistricting, 

Goodbye Electoral College? Popular vote movement gaining steam

Veteran reporter Steven Rosenfeld writes in Salon about the movement to enact the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.  

The Designation of Election Systems as Critical Infrastructure 

This January 2019 two-page report from the Congressional Research Service summarizes why the US Government designated elections as Critical Infrastructure and discusses why some election officials were initially resistant to this designation. 

Election officials said DMV wasn’t ready to launch Motor Voter. California went ahead anyway

By Bryan Anderson, McClatchy News/Modesto Bee, January 31, 2019

As California prepared to launch its new Motor Voter program last year, top elections officials say they asked Secretary of State Alex Padilla to hold off on the roll-out.

Voting Issues and Gerrymanders Are Now Key Political Battlegrounds

by Trip Gabriel, New York Times, January 2, 2019

Voting rights and partisan gerrymandering, traditionally the preoccupation of wonky party strategists and good-government groups, have become major flash points in the debate about the integrity of American elections, signaling high stakes battles over voter suppression and politically engineered districts ahead of the 2020 presidential race.

Most Voters Have Positive Views of Their Midterm Voting Experiences
After record high turnout, most nonvoters wish they had voted

Post-election voter survey findings released 12/17/18 from the Pew Research Center 

National Popular Vote - Answering Myths

From the book Every Vote Equal, proponents of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact respond to common questions about their proposal to ensure the Presidential candidate who wins the most popular votes nationwide is declared the winner. 

Post-election odds & ends 

Column by R.V. Scheide describing his experience receiving a notice from his county clerk informing him he needed to provide a new signature so his ballot would get counted. "So. Not the Deep State. Just a local government agency doing its job. That truly is a relief."

It Could Take Weeks to Find Out If Democrats Won the House

California and other key states take a very long time to count votes
By Daniel Costa-Roberts, Mother Jones Magazine, October 30, 2018
If you’ve been nervously counting down the days until the November 6 election, we’ve got some bad news for you: You might have to wait quite a bit longer before you know who will control the House. 

The Crisis of Election Security

New York Times Magazine
By Kim Zetter, September 26, 2018
As the midterms approach, America's electronic voting systems are more vulnerable than ever. Why isn't anyone trying to fix them?

In seconds, we faked our way into a political campaign, got unsecured voter data

Data analytics firm says this is normal: "It's the way that campaigns are run." 
By Cyrus Farivar,  Ars Technica,  June 5, 2018