Jessica Kirby

Author Articles

The threat of interference in United States elections remains a pressing topic of conversation over the coming months leading up to this year’s midterm elections. The FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and Office of the Director of National Intelligence intend to face these issues head on. On February 16th and 18th, election officials from all fifty states engaged in a “national-level classified dialogue... to ensure the integrity and security of the nation’s election infrastructure,” according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). ODNI also noted that these briefings were to focus on “increasing awareness of foreign adversary intent and capabilities against the state’s election infrastructure, as well as a discussion of threat mitigation efforts.”

On Friday, February 9, 2018, President Trump signed a continuing resolution, or CR, and spending deal that ended a brief government shutdown that morning. The two-year deal funds the federal government at current levels until March 23.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon announced recently that $7 million will be available to Minnesota counties on a matching basis in the form of technology grants to buy new election equipment.

Florida state and county election administrators recently met in Orlando, Florida to partake in a workshop on “cybertraining” to prepare for their 2018 elections.

In a proactive effort to defend election integrity during the 2018 midterms where 435 House seats will be up for election, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is putting cyber security experts on-the-ground to vet election systems in states that voluntarily sign up for the service.

On last Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Husted v. Philip Roth Institute case involving maintaining voter rolls and removing ineligible voters in Ohio.

Arizona kicked off 2018 with all 15 counties reaching a unanimous agreement to participate in the Electronic Registration Information Center, more commonly known as ERIC.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) recently released research introducing the “UOCAVA Gap,” a new and more effective metric that examines the effect of voting obstacles faced by Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) active duty military (ADM) members. Trends in the UOCAVA Gap suggest that, despite fluctuations in the ADM participation rate, overall UOCAVA obstacles to voting have been relatively stable from 2010 to 2016.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program just announced the release of their updated Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), as well as the 2018-2019 Voting Assistance Guide. The Guide is available now on FVAP.gov and will be distributed to Voting Assistance Officers in December.

Happy Veterans Day! In California, citizens can honor veterans and active service members though California’s Honor Veterans. Vote. Program. The program gives California voters the opportunity to pay tribute and dedicate their vote to a veteran or active duty service member.

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