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VerifiedVoting.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates for legislation and regulation that promotes accuracy, transparency and verifiability of elections. We believe the integrity and strength of our democracy relies on citizens' trust that each vote be counted as cast. Our primary concern lies in ensuring that the means for verifying election outcomes are in place and used for that purpose. We also focus on the reliability and security of voting systems. We connect those who are making and implementing policy that shapes how we vote to those who understand the particular risks associated with the emerging digital landscape, particularly online and electronic voting.

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How Russia used disinformation on social media to target voters

Disinformation: Remain calm and do not spread

With eight days to go until the most important election of our lifetimes, voters are being bombarded with half-truths and outright lies that may confuse the public and suppress the vote. Once again, foreign actors are seeking to disrupt our elections. The FBI recently alleged that Iran hacked into U.S. voter registration data and sent threatening, spoofed emails to voters. There is plenty of domestic misinformation and voter suppression, too — from falsehoods on the president's Twitter account to online campaigns targeting Black and Latino voters. In New Hampshire, the state Republican Party is spreading disinformation about college students' voting rights.

As tempting as it may be to retweet and rave about disinformation, that can be counterproductive. By publicly calling out false claims, we risk elevating the disinformation — and unintentionally spreading it. Instead, here are four concrete steps that the public, election officials, social media platforms and the media can take to combat disinformation.

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CISA steps up with valuable election rumor debunking site

In recent years, the Department of Homeland Security has weathered its share of criticism on everything from immigration to disaster responses. So it's worth noting when DHS is doing something right, especially when it comes to the 2020 election.

The department's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Administration has been one of the leading actors in the effort to track attempts by foreign entities that want to undermine the U.S. vote. It's been one of the leaders in identifying and publicizing specific types of misinformation and disinformation coming to play in the weeks leading up to Nov. 3.

CISA recently stood up this Election Security Rumor Control website for voters to sort through the kinds of things they're seeing in their Facebook or Twitter feeds. It sets the record straight for dozens of the most common — and it turns out, untrue — election conspiracy theories floating around. It's worth bookmarking.

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Election security has been much improved since 2016, says David Levine.

Why Microsoft's Trickbot crackdown shows 2020 election security is improving

Election Dissection caught up with David Levine of the Alliance for Securing Democracy about this week's news that Microsoft launched a preemptive strike against Trickbot, one of the world's most notorious hacker computer networks. Criminals have used Trickbot to attack banks, hospitals and local governments with ransomware in recent years. There's fear that Russia or other foreign entities could launch a ransomware attack to disrupt the 2020 count.

The actions by Microsoft, the U.S. Cyber Command and others indicate that the U.S. is in a far stronger position than it was in 2016, Levine said. Here are highlights from our interview.

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Election Cybersecurity: Lessons From USC Workshops With Leaders in All 50 States

Organizer: USC Election Cybersecurity Initiative

The USC Election Cybersecurity Initiative has visited all 50 states this year and presented in-state workshops in each one (most virtually because of the pandemic). Based on that experience, this final session of the 2020 election year will consider:

  • What have we learned?
  • How are election officials in the 50 states handling cybersecurity?
  • Who are some leading innovators and what are some leading innovations in the 50 states?
  • Who are some of the future leaders in the 50 states?
  • What are some lessons for the future?

Vint Cerf, "Father of the Internet," will launch our review of what we have seen, what we heard, and what we can learn for November 3rd and beyond. David Broder, legendary political reporter, used to say that you cannot understand U.S. politics without visiting state capitols. This year, we went to all 50.

Location: Webinar

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