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The Overlooked Weak Link in Election Security

More than one-third of counties that are overseeing elections in some of the most contested congressional races this November run email systems that could make it easy for hackers to log in and steal potentially sensitive information.

A ProPublica survey found that official email accounts used by 11 county election offices, which are in charge of tallying votes in 12 key U.S. House of Representatives races from California to Ohio, could be breached with only a user name and password — potentially allowing hackers to vacuum up confidential communications or impersonate election administrators. Cybersecurity experts recommend having a second means of verifying a user’s identity, such as typing in an additional code from a smartphone or card, to thwart intruders who have gained someone’s login credentials through trickery or theft. This system, known as two-factor verification, is available on many commercial email services.

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New York City Primary Voters Find Their Names Missing From Voter Rolls

Some state primary voters — including the mayor’s son — arrived at polling places in New York City only to discover that their registration had been changed or dropped, forcing them to vote via affidavit ballot.

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Agency Takes Back Instructions to Residents in Brooklyn Housing Project to Stay Home on Primary Day

Hundreds of residents of the Marlboro Houses near Coney Island in Brooklyn received notices from the New York City Housing Authority telling them to remain home on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a routine lead inspection. That left residents scrambling for a way to comply with NYCHA’s directive and to vote in the New York state primary election, which runs from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Why Am I Seeing This? Interesting Facebook Ads From Our Political Ad Collector

These ads are collected from participants in our Political Ad Collector project. If you want to help us by submitting the ads you see to our collection, join the project. It’s easy.

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No, a Teen Did Not Hack a State Election

Headlines from Def Con, a hacking conference held this month in Las Vegas, might have left some thinking that infiltrating state election websites and affecting the 2018 midterm results would be child’s play.

Articles reported that teenage hackers at the event were able to “crash the upcoming midterm elections” and that it had taken “an 11-year-old hacker just 10 minutes to change election results.” A first-person account by a 17-year-old in Politico Magazine described how he shut down a website that would tally votes in November, “bringing the election to a screeching halt.”

But now, elections experts are raising concerns that misunderstandings about the event — many of them stoked by its organizers — have left people with a distorted sense of its implications.

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Fund Meant to Protect Elections May Be Too Little, Too Late

The Election Assistance Commission, the government agency charged with distributing federal funds to support elections, released a report Tuesday detailing how each state plans to spend a total of $380 million in grants allocated to improve and secure their election systems.

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¿Eres puertorriqueño y has tenido problemas registrándote para votar? Queremos conocer tu historia

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¿Eres un puertorriqueño que se mudó a los Estados Unidos tras los huracanes Irma y María y tiene previsto votar en los midterms? En ProPublica queremos oír tu historia.

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Puerto Ricans: Have You Experienced Any Problems When Registering to Vote?

Leer en español.

Are you a Puerto Rican who relocated to the U.S. after hurricanes Irma and Maria and is planning to vote in the midterm elections? ProPublica wants to hear from you.

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When Sarah Sanders and the ACLU Teamed Up for Voting Rights

As the midterm elections approach, Republican state officials and lawmakers have stepped up efforts to block students from voting in their college towns. Republicans in Texas pushed through a law last year requiring voters to carry one of seven forms of photo identification, including handgun licenses but excluding student IDs. In June, the GOP-controlled legislature in North Carolina approved early voting guidelines that have already resulted in closing of polling locations at several colleges. And last month, New Hampshire’s Republican governor signed a law that requires students who vote in the state to also register their cars and obtain driver's licenses there.

One nationally prominent Republican, however, once took the opposite stance on student voting. As an undergraduate at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee — now White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders — sued to allow students to vote after being one of more than 900 purged from the county’s rolls.

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Election 2016 Gets a Report Card

A new report out today by researchers at MIT contains some good news about America’s election process. States seem to have fixed the long lines and sky-high wait times that plagued voters in 2012. Overall, it’s getting easier to vote, the research shows.

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Congress Works for You. Here’s How to Be a Better Boss.

Sign up to get eight personalized emails that teach you how to make a difference.

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Election Commission Documents Cast Doubt on Trump’s Claims of Voter Fraud

In May of 2017, President Donald Trump established a presidential commission to explore the threat of voter fraud — staffing it with multiple Republicans who had theorized that fraud was a substantial problem in American democracy. The commission, widely called the voter fraud commission, was immediately criticized as a political creation aimed at a phony problem.

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Kris Kobach’s Lucrative Trail of Courtroom Defeats

Kris Kobach likes to tout his work for Valley Park, Missouri. He has boasted on cable TV about crafting and defending the town’s hardline anti-immigration ordinance. He discussed his “victory” there at length on his old radio show. He still lists it on his resume.

But “victory” isn’t the word most Valley Park residents would use to describe the results of Kobach’s work. With his help, the town of 7,000 passed an ordinance in 2006 that punished employers for hiring illegal immigrants and landlords for renting to them. But after two years of litigation and nearly $300,000 in expenses, the ordinance was largely gutted. Now, it is illegal only to “knowingly” hire illegal immigrants there — something that was already illegal under federal law. The town’s attorney can’t recall a single case brought under the ordinance.

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Updated: Facebook Political Ad Collector

See how political advertisers target you. Use this database to search for political ads based on who was meant to see them.

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How Voting Laws Have Changed Since 2016

See the new legislation and legal cases in your state that have the potential to change how you vote this November.

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About Electionland

Electionland is a coalition of newsrooms around the country that are covering problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2018 elections. If you’re a journalist covering voting, sign up to find out more about how you can get tips about voting problems in your area. Questions? Read our FAQ.

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