Team at Rice builds machine to transform the way we vote

HOUSTON CHRONICLE | The drumbeat of election rigging and foreign hacking of voting machines have energized ongoing efforts to develop a new model of digital election equipment designed to produce instantly verifiable results and dual records for security. Election experts say this emerging system, one of three publicly funded voting machine projects across the country, shows potential to help restore confidence in the country’s election infrastructure, most of which hasn’t been updated in more than a decade.

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How to track the lines at your polling place

POPULAR SCIENCE | In a contentious election, we can at least agree on one thing: Long polling-place lines are the worst. The Presidential Commission on Election Administration recommends that election officials track those wait times. But, says Daniel Zimmerman, who is Principled Computer Scientist at the election software company Free & Fair, “poll workers are already overworked.” That’s why he created a tech solution to track the crowds: a DIY device called Qubie.

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This Is How We’ll Be Voting in 2020

FORTUNE | In Travis County, Texas, an experiment called the STAR Vote project is in progress to upgrade voting equipment, to make it both secure and technologically advanced. There, a county clerk named Dana DeBeauvoir has spearheaded the development of a new system that not only ensures votes aren’t tampered with, but it enables voters to later check that their ballots have been counted. It also lets independent observers tally votes themselves, in case an audit is necessary, all without breaching anyone’s privacy or fear of tampering.

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Hack the Election? Local Officials Say Their Systems Are Secure

REPORTING TEXAS | News reports about cyberattacks on some state voter registration systems and the Democratic National Committee have stirred up concerns about whether hackers could tamper with voting systems on Election Day. Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said her county’s voting machines are secure against tampering, and that the real “hack” is the fear that those incidents have generated about the accuracy of the vote count.

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Could the U.S. election be hacked?

USA TODAY | The impact of Russian hacking on the upcoming presidential election was a topic in Sunday night’s debate, raising the question: Is the U.S. election hackable? Experts say at the national level, no. But there could be individual incidents that undermine faith in the system.

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3 nightmare election hack scenarios

PC WORLD | The question on the mind of many voting security experts is not whether hackers could disrupt a U.S. election. Instead, they wonder how likely an election hack might be and how it might happen. The good news is a hack that changes the outcome of a U.S. presidential election would be difficult, although not impossible.

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5 ways to improve voting security in the US

PC WORLD | With the U.S. presidential election just weeks away, questions about election security continue to dog the nation’s voting system. It’s too late for election officials to make major improvements, “and there are no resources,” said Joe Kiniry, a long-time election security researcher. However, officials can take several steps for upcoming elections, security experts say.

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The Feds want to stop election hackers, but states and voters are wary

FAST COMPANY | After hackers said to be linked to Russia stole data from voter registration systems in Arizona and Illinois earlier this year, the federal Department of Homeland Security offered digital security assistance to state and local election officials around the country.

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How to ensure trustworthy, open source elections

NEXTGOV | A strong democracy hinges not only on the right to vote but also on trustworthy elections and voting systems. Reports that Russia or others may seek to impact the upcoming U.S. presidential election—most recently, FBI evidence that foreign hackers targeted voter databases in Arizona and Illinois—has brought simmering concerns over the legitimacy of election results to a boil.

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The internet is no place for elections

MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | This election year we’ve seen foreign hackers infiltrate the Democratic National Committee’s e-mail system as well as voter databases in Arizona and Illinois. These attacks have reinforced what political scientists and technical experts alike have been saying for more than a decade: public elections should stay offline. It’s not yet feasible to build a secure and truly democratic Internet-connected voting system.

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Can this Texas county fix America’s electronic voting problem?

FUSION | Dana DeBeauvoir, a spirited 62-year-old who has overseen the election process in Travis County, Texas, since 1986, has been fending off complaints about voting for decades. In recent years, most of those complaints have been about the reliability of electronic voting machines.

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5 steps to make U.S. elections less hackable

DEFENCE ONE | Voting machine vulnerabilities go well beyond what most voters know, warns Dan Zimmerman, a computer scientist who specializes in election information technology. There probably is not time to fix all of those vulnerabilities by November. But there are still things election officials could do to reduce the hack-ability of the U.S. presidential election.

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Elections security: Federal help or power grab?

POLITICO | The federal government wants to help states keep hackers from manipulating the November election, amid growing fears that the U.S. political system is vulnerable.
But Georgia’s top election official is balking at the offers of assistance — and accusing the Obama administration of using exaggerated warnings of cyberthreats to intrude on states’ authority.

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Free & Fair launches wireless device to measure Election Day voting lines

PRWEB | Free & Fair today announced the availability of Qubie, an open source wireless device that measures wait times and delays at U.S. polling places on election day by analyzing smartphone signals. Qubie is a free tool that U.S. state and local jurisdictions can leverage for the 2016 Presidential Election to improve the voter experience and polling place efficiency.

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Qubie is an open hardware solution for tracking wait times at voting places

TECHCRUNCH | With an incredibly important national election coming up, it’s more critical than ever that everyone who can vote does — and is able to. Election tech firm Free and Fair is hoping to help avoid overflowing voting locations with a simple, open source device that automatically monitors waiting times and keeps voters and officials informed.

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Hacker threat extends beyond parties

POLITICO | The furor over the cyberattacks injecting turmoil into Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign obscures a more pervasive danger to the U.S. political process: Much of it has only lax security against hackers, with few if any federal cops on the beat.

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A hackable election: 5 things you need to know about e-voting machines

PC WORLD | As the U.S. heads toward an especially contentious national election in November, 15 states are still clinging to outdated electronic voting machines that don’t support paper printouts used to audit their internal vote counts. E-voting machines without attached printers are still being used in a handful of presidential swing states, leading some voting security advocates to worry about the potential of a hacked election.

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Why can’t we vote online?

THE DAILY DOT | It’s easy to get excited about internet voting. Social media, Skype, online banking — these types of tools and services have expanded our voices, connected us the world over, and added convenience and efficiency to our lives. Who wouldn’t want to see elections benefit from these kinds of advances?

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Voting System Overhaul: Improving election tech from the bottom up

GOVTECH | Electronic voting machines revolutionized the democratic process — until we started to notice all the vulnerabilities, that is, and the fact that they age like any other technology. What at first looked like a farewell to millions of paper ballots turned into a nail-biting nightmare as reports of operational flaws and machines at the end of their effective lives took headlines.

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Open source, COTS-based voting tech

GCN | Although the obstacles to online voting are legion, that hasn’t stopped technology entrepreneurs from trying to invent a better ballot. A new company, Free & Fair, is offering a suite of products to make elections more verifiable, transparent and secure.

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Galois launches election technology spinoff: Free & Fair to enable verifiable, transparent and secure elections

PRWEB | Galois today announced the launch of Free & Fair, a pioneering election technology company that offers high assurance, open source software and systems that enable truly verifiable, transparent and secure elections. Free & Fair intends to fundamentally change the way election technology is created and deployed, reducing costs for taxpayers while allowing election officials to take back control of their election systems.

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Portland tech firm Galois spins out new company to make elections more secure

PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL | Portland computer science research and development firm Galois is taking aim at election security with its latest spin-off, Free & Fair. The new wholly-owned subsidiary is run by elections security researcher Joseph Kiniry, who two years ago illustrated how easy it is to hack vote-by-email systems, and is based on technology developed by Galois.

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Voting technology and security

WGCU PUBLIC RADIO | An Estero, FL man was arrested last week on three counts of unauthorized access of a computer system. David Levin is accused of hacking both the Lee County and Florida Division of Elections websites. Levin, along with Dan Sinclair, who is running against incumbent Lee County Elections Supervisor Sharon Harrington, made a video detailing how Levin accessed the website. The Florida Department of State said in a statement that the state’s voter registration system was not accessed and is secure.

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Voter ID laws may have actually increased the likelihood of voter fraud – by hackers

FAST COMPANY | States that passed voter ID laws didn’t just potentially disenfranchise voters. They made their elections more vulnerable to hackers.

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The state of election technology is… improving

TECHCRUNCH | With the U.S. knee-deep in what has been an unusual presidential primary season, to say the least, many eligible voters are highly engaged in the process, passionate about their preferred candidates. But when it comes to voting trends, a reality check is in order: Voter turnout in the U.S. during the last midterm election hit the lowest point since the 1940s.

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