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The State of Reform
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Florida fury after fresh claim of a 2016 cyberattack


Florida fury after fresh claim of a 2016 cyberattack

Just a few weeks before Florida presidential primary, the elections supervisor for the state's third biggest county has dropped an election security bombshell.

Wendy Sartory Link says she was told the Palm Beach County elections systems were hacked during the 2016 presidential election but the attack was never reported to state or federal authorities.

The claim immediately became embroiled in controversy, however, because the person in charge of the office at the time, Susan Bucher, denied the attack occurred and the agency's former head of information technology won't comment because he is facing unrelated criminal charges.

The contradictory stories have left other political leaders in the state perplexed.

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Tribes secure big voting rights win as North Dakota backs down

North Dakota has agreed to a significant expansion of voting rights for Native Americans.

Residents of reservations will be able to register and vote this year even if they don't comply with the state's restrictive voter identification law, which requires voters to have an ID with a residential address, under an agreement announced late Thursday.

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The deal marks a significant and stunningly sudden victory for the American Indian electorate. It settles the latest lawsuit brought by tribes and voters, who have been arguing for four years that the law is unconstitutional. North Dakota agreed to the settlement only hours after a federal judge rejected the state's bid to get the case dismissed and set a trial date for May.

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Kansas GOP splits over new law making it easier to vote

Efforts to expand access to the ballot box in Kansas in time for the presidential election face further delays because of an intensifying dispute among the Republicans in charge in Topeka.

Ten months ago the Legislature enacted a law giving voters a broader choice of polling places. But Secretary of State Scott Schwab, who took office last year, has delayed instituting the change because he says it raises security concerns — and that at least a year more is needed to ensure electronic voter lists and computer systems are ready.

Even some of his fellow Republicans at the statehouse say Schwab is creating flimsy excuses masking his disinterest in making it more convenient to vote in a year when Kansas' traditionally deep red hue is going to be tested, especially in an open-seat Senate contest.

The tussle also revives the image of Kansas as a voting rights minefield that was set when conservative Republican Kris Kobach was secretary of state and pushed for some of the country's strictest voter ID laws, including a proof-of-citizenship requirement for new voters now on hold in the courts. Koback is now running for the Senate.

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Meet the reformer: Dave Griggs, navigator of voter ID complexity

After 15 years in Democratic politics, Dave Griggs has turned his focus to nonpartisan efforts to help more people gain access to the ballot box. VoteRiders works to educate citizens about voter ID laws and helps them acquire the identification necessary to register and then cast ballots. Griggs had worked to elect to Congress several of the most high-profile Democrats from his native Minnesota in recent years: presidential aspirant Amy Klobuchar, her previous fellow senators Paul Wellstone and Al Franken, and Keith Ellison, now state attorney general. Before joining VoteRiders as CEO in January 2018, he held a series of senior titles at the Democrat's campaign operation for state legislators. His answers have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

What's the tweet-length description of your organization?

Guaranteeing democracy through voter ID education and assistance.

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Can the Constitution stop the government from lying to the public?

Helen Norton of the University of Colorado Boulder explores what safeguards there are to keep the government from lying.


Ideas at Work: Repairing Our Social Fabric

Join the Center for the Study of Liberty and Better Angels on Feb. 19 to talk about how polarization ratcheted up and what can be done to fix it.

We’re all about the issues that have broken American democracy — and efforts to make governments work again for you, your family and your friends.
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