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USC Election Cybersecurity Initiative: New York

Organizer: University of Southern California — Election Cybersecurity Initiative

Because of the COVID-19 virus, we are facing unprecedented changes to our election landscape. Cybersecurity is more important than ever, and we now have to view it through a different lens. At our virtual workshop, we will be discussing primary date changes, direct mail voting, facts you need to know and best practices for cyber safety. Campaigns, policymakers, thought-leaders and concerned citizens alike need objective, factual tools and information to help them secure campaigns and elections. The USC Election Cybersecurity Initiative is a brand new non-partisan independent project, supported by Google, to help protect campaigns and elections from cyber attacks.

Join us for a virtual workshop, designed to help protect campaigns and elections in this critical election year. Information for joining the call will be emailed to you 24-48 hours in advance of the workshop.

Location: Webinar

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Indiana is one of six states that requires voters to have an excuse not related to the coronavirus in order to vote by mail this fall.

Voting easements made in Virginia and New York, but stopped in Indiana

Six states still require voters to provide an excuse not related to the Covid-19 pandemic in order to get a mail-in ballot this year. A judge decided to keep Indiana on that list Friday while a pair of states took action to make voting easier in 2020.

Virginia has waived the witness signature requirement and New York has made improvements to its absentee ballot verification system. In Missouri, meanwhile, a new legal battle over ballot access is just beginning.

Here are the details:

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Thursday saying Covid fear is a valid reason to get an absentee ballot.

All New York voters may now vote by mail this year

All New Yorkers will be able to vote by mail in the fall if they want. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Thursday permitting voters to point to the coronavirus pandemic as a reason for seeking an absentee ballot.

The fourth most populous state normally requires people to choose from a narrow set of impediments to getting to a polling place, such as being sick or out of town. It now joins nine states that have simply suspended those rules for the year — or, as in New York's case, expanded the definition of "illness" to cover concern about voting in person due to Covid-19.

That leaves only six states, all of them Republican bulwarks, that are still keeping their tight excuse rules for the presidential election: Texas, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.

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New York should honor the late John Lewis by passing voting rights legislation in his memory, writes William Fowler.

N.Y. shouldn't wait for Congress —  it can pass its own voting rights law

Fowler is on the communications staff of the New York City Campaign Finance Board, but the views here are his own.

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