Author: Pam Fessler

Trump Official On Russian Hacking: ‘A National Security Issue’

NPR Enlarge this image A voter fills out a ballot at the Hamilton County Board of Elections in Cincinnati. John Minchillo/AP hide caption toggle caption John Minchillo/AP President Trump has shown little interest in fighting the threat of Russians hacking U.S. elections. He’s shown a lot of interest in fighting voter fraud, something he insists — without evidence — is widespread. This is real. There are actually people trying to hack into systems, regardless of where they’re from and what their intentions are, and we need to protect for that… Sec. of State Nellie Gorbea, D-R.I. Parts of his...

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‘Nothing Going On’ With Trump Voter Fraud Commission Due To Multiple Lawsuits

NPR Enlarge this image A sign appears outside the room where the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, July 19, 2017. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images The work of President Trump’s commission studying voter fraud and other voting problems has been stalled by the eight lawsuits filed against it, according to one commission member. Indiana’s Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson says the suits, which seek release of all of the commission’s correspondence, among other things, have had a “chilling” effect....

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Making U.S. Elections More Secure Wouldn’t Cost Much But No One Wants To Pay

NPR People vote on on November 8, 2016 in Los Angeles. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images What would it cost to protect the nation’s voting systems from attack? About $400 million would go a long way, say cybersecurity experts. It’s not a lot of money when it comes to national defense — the Pentagon spent more than that last year on military bands alone — but getting funds for election systems is always a struggle. At a Senate intelligence committee hearing last week about Russian hacking during last year’s election, Jeanette Manfra , the acting deputy under secretary for cybersecurity...

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If Voting Machines Were Hacked, Would Anyone Know?

NPR A ballot scanner in New York City ahead of last November’s election. Drew Angerer/Getty Images As new reports emerge about Russian-backed attempts to hack state and local election systems, U.S. officials are increasingly worried about how vulnerable American elections really are. While the officials say they see no evidence that any votes were tampered with, no one knows for sure. Voters were assured repeatedly last year that foreign hackers couldn’t manipulate votes because, with few exceptions, voting machines are not connected to the Internet. “So how do you hack something in cyberspace, when it’s not in cyberspace?” Louisiana...

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Disabled And Fighting For The Right To Vote

Rosalind Alexander-Kasparik cares for her fiance, David Rector, who’s trying to have his voting rights restored five years after a judge ruled that a traumatic brain injury disqualified him from casting a ballot in San Diego. Elliot Spagat/AP Tens of thousands of Americans with disabilities have lost their voting rights. It usually happens when a court assigns a legal guardian to handle their affairs. Now, some of those affected are fighting to get back those rights. David Rector recently went to Superior Court in San Diego, Calif., to file a request to have his voting rights restored. Rector lost those rights in 2011 when his fiance, Rosalind Alexander-Kasparik, was appointed his conservator after a brain injury left him unable to walk or speak. Alexander-Kasparik says he was still able to communicate his wishes to a court clerk. “He did manage to say through his electronic voice on his eye-tracking device, ‘I, David Rector, want my voting rights restored, immediately,'” she told supporters outside the courthouse. That’s crucial, because under a new California law, individuals with guardians have to express a desire to vote to be able to do so. Rector, who used to work as a producer for NPR, is believed to be one of more than 30,000 Californians — and an unknown number of others in the U.S. — who’ve lost their voting rights under state guardianship laws. “The...

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