Election Integrity Issues

by Phil Harrison

Voter Registration Suppression Movement
vet protected voting but cant vote
In most states, voter registration requires that voters sign a simple statement affirming US citizenship.  Not so in Kansas, which has become the leader in a growing movement to restrict convenient access to the voting rolls.  Under the sponsorship of Kansas Secretary of State Chris Kobach, Kansas now requires proof of US citizenship in order to register.  As a result, there are currently more than 36,000 Kansans whose recent applications have been left in limbo because of difficulties obtaining the required proof.  According to an article at the Reuters website, the restrictions disproportionately affect young, independent, and Democratic voters… 

Critics have claimed that Kobach’s policies are a cynical attempt to suppress the votes of people who tend to vote Democratic and the ACLU has sued in Federal Court.  Because of Federal legislation governing registration applications at motor vehicle offices, the Court has ruled that those applications must be accepted, but only for Federal elections.  This has led to a very chaotic situation!
Kobach’s activism has not been limited to Kansas and he is leading a national effort to insure that these restrictions are imposed everywhere because he claims there is a plague of illegal voting that is a threat to democracy. “Kobach has gained a national reputation for pushing a series of voting and anti-immigration measures across the country, leading one Democratic congressman to dub him ‘the dark lord’ of the anti-immigration movement – a label he wears proudly.”  So far, three other states have passed Kobach’s voting restrictions and legislation is pending in nine others.  Watch out for these laws to be promoted in a state near you!  Read more details at the Reuters web site http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-votingrights-kansas-insight-idUSKCN0YN4AQ

A Tale of Election Hacking
Sepulveda.election hackerUnder the title “How to Hack an Election,” Bloomberg news presents the tale of Colombian Andrés Sepúlveda, a confessed and convicted manipulator of Latin American elections.  Sepúlveda mastered many techniques of computer election tampering, including hacking into candidate cell phones, theft of campaign strategy documents, social media manipulation to create “false waves of enthusiasm and derision, installation of spyware in opposition offices … He’s serving 10 years in prison for charges including use of malicious software, conspiracy to commit crime, violation of personal data, and espionage, related to hacking during Colombia’s 2014 presidential election. He has agreed to tell his full story for the first time, hoping to convince the public that he’s rehabilitated—and gather support for a reduced sentence.”  He claims that these activities are occurring in elections throughout the world, which raises the issue of their use in US elections.  One method that Sepúlveda apparently did not master was manipulation of the final vote count.  In many Latin American countries, manipulation by computer hackers like Sepúlveda is essentially impossible because elections are conducted using paper ballots hand counted at the voting places.  Read the full story at http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-how-to-hack-an-election/