Iowa will keep voter registration system that thwarted Russian hackers
Iowa's aging voter registration system, which the Russians unsuccessfully tried to hack in 2016, won't be replaced until after the 2020 elections, the secretary of state's office has confirmed.
The $7 million project to replace the 14-year-old system was launched last year. A spokesman for Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate said potential vendors will be contacted soon, to be followed by a formal bidding process.
Current and former state officials said they are confident that additional security measures that have been added should prevent intrusions.
But Linn County Auditor Joel Miller, a Democrat, told The Associated Press he worries the system is running on outdated technology and could be vulnerable. He said he is disappointed at the pace of the replacement project and the lack of information that election officials have received.
"There is a level of frustration," Miller said. "It's not upgraded, and we don't know what's going on with it."
Iowa's system, in place since 2006 and upgraded several times, contains data on Iowa's roughly 2 million registered voters. The state's six electoral votes seem destined to be intensely targeted by both sides again next year; Iowa has very narrowly voted for the popular vote winner in seven straight presidential elections.
The Federal Election Commission has once again punted on establishing rules for identifying who is sponsoring online political advertisements. Thursday marked the fourth consecutive meeting in which the topic fell to the wayside without a clear path forward.
FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub revived debate on the topic in June when she introduced a proposal on how to regulate online political ads. In her proposal, she said the growing threat of misinformation meant that requiring transparency for political ads was "a small but necessary step."
Vice Chairman Matthew Petersen and Commissioner Caroline Hunter put forth their own proposal soon after Weintraub, but the commissioners have failed to find any middle ground. At Thursday's meeting, a decision on the agenda item was pushed off to a later date.
Weintraub's proposal says the funding source should be clearly visible on the face of the ad, with some allowance for abbreviations. But Petersen and Hunter want to allow more flexibility for tiny ads that cannot accommodate these disclaimers due to space.
The California Supreme Court is fast-tracking its review of a challenge to a new law that would require President Trump to make public his tax returns in order to get on the state's ballot for the 2020 election.
A lawsuit seeking to block implementation of the law was filed August 6 by the California Republican Party against Secretary of State Alex Padilla. It claims the law violates California's constitution.
Two other challenges, one filed by Trump's personal lawyers, are pending in federal court.