Ready for online voting in 2020? It’s here, even for Trump vs. Biden

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Amidst all the outcry about whether to vote in person or ia the mail, what about on the device where you’re probably reading this now? Why not the smartphone in your pocket?

Leading tech entrepreneurs like Andrew Yang and Bradley Tusk have called for online voting as a way to increase voter participation.

And this year, in a very limited way, despite the many critics who say that online voting in unsafe and susceptible to hacking, it’s actually happening for the 2020 presidential election.

Military, certain disabled and overseas citizens will be able to vote on a mobile device for the presidential election in West Virginia, South Carolina and Umatilla County, Oregon.

Voting may be headed to mobile devices in the future. (Photo: hermosawave/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Voting early: Vote by mail, early voting underway around the country

Register: Election 2020: When early voting and mail voting for president begins in

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LeBron James’ voting organization kicks off new campaign with soccer stars

More Than A Vote, a voting rights organization spearheaded by athletes including NBA superstar LeBron James, released a video Monday featuring Major League Soccer (MLS) players encouraging Americans to make a plan to vote and to cast their vote early. Early voting is underway in multiple states across the country.
 
The video was produced in collaboration with Black Players for Change (BPC), a coalition of more than 170 professional soccer players, coaches and staff aimed at combating racial inequality. To assist Americans in making a plan to vote early, the organization encourages Americans to visit their website where users can type in their address and they will be redirected to a page that will provide them with different options on how to cast their vote in their community.

In addition to urging Americans to make their plans to vote early, the video asks citizens to become poll workers and

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Mobile voting: New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres urges state to embrace new voting technology

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — A City Council member is urging New York to embrace new technology for voting in future elections.

Councilman Ritchie Torres was joined by Mobile Voting Project founder Bradley Tusk at a press conference Friday to call for the New York State Board of Election to enact mobile voting.

With less than three weeks until Election Day, it comes on the heels of a recent incident wherein the New York City Board of Elections mistakenly mailed out as many as 100,000 faulty ballots in Brooklyn alone and just weeks after President Donald Trump’s administration sought to gut the United States Postal Service to hamper mail-in ballot turnout.

Related: New York City erroneous ballot issue extends onto Long Island

Torres said studies show that the U.S. trails most developed countries in voter turnout.

According to data compiled by the United States Election Project, turnout in the 2016

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The Cybersecurity 202: The Supreme Court could decide the fate of mail voting in two swing states

Pennsylvania Republicans, meanwhile, are already asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a ruling by the state’s highest court that allows ballots to be counted if they arrive up to three days later. 

In both cases, the ballots must be postmarked by Election Day.

The two cases dramatically raise the chances the U.S. Supreme Court could determine the course of the election

If the Wisconsin decision stands, it could dramatically reduce the number of mail ballots that get counted in the state. 

U.S. District Judge William Conley originally ordered the six-day window for late-arriving ballots after a chaotic primary early in the pandemic.

During that April 7 primary, thousands of people didn’t receive requested mail ballots until shortly before Election Day and others didn’t receive them at all. The state decided to accept ballots postmarked by Election Day that arrived up to five days later. 

A whopping 79,000 ballots

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Tiny Changes Let False Claims About COVID-19, Voting Evade Facebook Fact Checks : NPR

Facebook labels posts that its fact checkers have found false, as in the screenshot on the left. On the right, a similar post had no label applied.

Screeenshot via Avaaz


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Screeenshot via Avaaz

Facebook labels posts that its fact checkers have found false, as in the screenshot on the left. On the right, a similar post had no label applied.

Screeenshot via Avaaz

Something as simple as changing the font of a message or cropping an image can be all it takes to bypass Facebook’s defenses against hoaxes and lies.

A new analysis by the international advocacy group Avaaz shines light on why, despite the tech giant’s efforts to stamp out misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic and the U.S. election, it’s so hard to stop bad actors from spreading these falsehoods.

“We found them getting around Facebook’s policies by just tweaking the misinformation a little bit,

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‘Why I bought a voting machine on eBay’

“Earlier this year, I attended a conference and was shocked to find that you could actually buy voting machines on eBay. So I bought one, two months ago, and have been able to open it up and look at the chips.”

Beatrice Atobatele is trying to hack one of the most commonly used voting machines in the US, to look for security vulnerabilities, but not with any criminal intentions.

Beatrice is actually one of more than 200 people who have signed up to a volunteer group of security experts and hackers called the Election Cyber Surge.

Beatrice Atobatele taking apart her voting machine to test it
Beatrice Atobatele taking apart her voting machine to test it

And by understanding how this machine works, she hopes she can ensure any vulnerabilities are fixed.

“I’ve bypassed the authentication itself,” she says.

“I’m still learning and trying to find any new vulnerabilities that might not be known about yet.”

Human error

The problem

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Facebook and Twitter keep fact-checking Trump on voting by mail. He’s undeterred.

When President Donald Trump’s Facebook account Monday posted an evidence-free assertion that mail-in ballots “cannot be accurately counted,” the social media giant responded, placing a label on the post that said simply: “Visit the Voting Information Center for election resources and official updates.”

That did not sit well with some of Facebook’s critics.

“That label is worse than nothing,” Kate Starbird, a University of Washington associate professor of human-centered design and engineering, said in a tweet.

Facebook later changed the label to make it more aggressive, describing a “long history of trustworthiness” for both voting in person and by mail. A parallel scene played out with Twitter, where an identical claim from the president resulted in a short label: “Learn how voting by mail is safe and secure.”

But Facebook and Twitter still left the posts up.

Facebook and Twitter announced months ago that this is how they would

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Health crisis could have voting implications for incumbent governments — ScienceDaily

Approval ratings of political leaders surged in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the days and weeks with high numbers of new COVID-19 cases there were also large boosts to leader approval. These results support a “rally ’round the flag” phenomenon in which citizens rally around their leaders during times of crisis and may have voting implications.

Data analyzed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the National University of Singapore reveal world leaders, on average, experienced a 14-point boost in approval.

Citizens tend to support their leaders in times of national crisis, such as war or terrorist attack, but the new study is the first to identify a rally effect during a health crisis — one that’s been deadly and destructive across the globe.

The idea for the

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How crisis shaped voting tech the US, and how COVID is doing the same

Soldiers in the Civil War used the latest advancements in military technology. The repeating rifle and improved bullets made it possible to launch deadlier attacks from farther away than before. Early submarines tested the waters of undersea warfare. The telegraph allowed President Abraham Lincoln to get important messages from officers in the field. 



a person standing in front of a building: A voter operates a gear-and-lever voting booth around 1905. The devices laid the foundation for electronic voting machines in use today. Getty Images


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A voter operates a gear-and-lever voting booth around 1905. The devices laid the foundation for electronic voting machines in use today. Getty Images

The advances weren’t limited to battle. The 1864 presidential contest was the first general election held by any nation during a major conflict. In order to vote, Union soldiers relied on two of the most significant developments in American voting: paper ballots and absentee voting. At polling stations in military camps, soldiers from more than a dozen states cast pre-printed tickets that listed candidates from one party or another. Voters

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