voting

Two years after Russia's wave of cyberattacks against American democracy, a Senate committee investigating election interference says those hackers hit harder than previously thought in several states.

The committee also added that it still doesn't know with complete certainty exactly how much of U.S. voting infrastructure was compromised.

In elections past, the integrity of the vote was protected by poll workers and election officials. But in 2018 and likely beyond, elections are being protected by people like the anonymous man who works in the basement of the West Virginia Capitol.

He's member of the West Virginia National Guard who is a cybersecurity specialist responsible for monitoring any computer-related threats to the state's elections. Since August of last year, he's been attached full time to the office of Secretary of State Mac Warner.

On Nov. 8, 2016, Crystal Mason got out of work and drove through the rain to her home in Dallas. She walked through the door and tried to settle in for the evening. But her mother delivered something akin to a scolding.

"You have to go vote!" Mason's mother said, according to her attorney, J. Warren St. John, who spoke to NPR.

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

Florida could start sharing voter information to make sure people aren't registered in other states under a bill now headed to Gov. Rick Scott.

JMV0586 / FLICKR

Florida's legal battle over voting rights for ex-prisoners escalated on Monday, as the state and a voting rights organization representing former felons made dramatically different requests of a federal judge.

Lawyers who have sued Florida want U.S. District Judge Mark Walker to order the automatic restoration of voting rights to anyone who has been out of prison at least five years. Walker ruled earlier this month that the state's system of restoring voting rights to felons who have served their time is arbitrary and unconstitutional.

In a ruling that could have reverberations on this year's crucial elections, a federal judge Thursday ruled that Florida's current ban on former felons voting is unconstitutional and needs to be changed as soon as possible.

Inmate deaths in the Florida prison system are up 20 percent over previous years. Last Friday, The Florida Department of Corrections released information that 428 inmates died last year. On average, the inmates who died have been younger than in previous years.

Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown covers the prison system extensively. She joined the program to talk about the different issues present in Florida prisons.

The work of President Trump's commission studying voter fraud and other voting problems has been stalled by the eight lawsuits filed against it, according to one commission member.

Indiana's Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson says the suits, which seek release of all of the commission's correspondence, among other things, have had a "chilling" effect.

Some Democrats on the 11-member panel have complained in recent weeks that they're being kept in the dark about its activities and plans.

This year has brought with it a wave of women interested in running for office, particularly among Democrats. And though Republicans have seen less of a wave, Congress has gained one GOP woman already this year: Georgia's Karen Handel.

A new study hints at where candidates and legislators can find their strongest supporters: Women tend to think more highly of female legislators on a variety of measures. With men, though, it depends on party; Republican men have reservations about the women representing them, whereas Democratic men in some ways rate women more highly than men.

Florida To Provide Limited Voter Information To Panel

Jul 7, 2017
MIAMI HERALD STAFF

With Democrats and some Republicans increasing calls this week to fully reject a federal commission's request for voter information, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced Thursday that the state will only provide publicly available data.

State Still Silent About Voter Data Request

Jul 5, 2017

Despite a bipartisan backlash against a White House commission's request for information about states' voter rolls, Gov. Rick Scott's administration is still not saying whether Florida will provide the potentially sensitive information.

Last week, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity issued letters to state elections officials asking for a variety of information that could be culled from voter rolls "if publicly available under the laws of your state."

As new reports emerge about Russian-backed attempts to hack state and local election systems, U.S. officials are increasingly worried about how vulnerable American elections really are. While the officials say they see no evidence that any votes were tampered with, no one knows for sure.

Fewer felons are getting their voting rights restored under Governor Rick Scott than in the past two administrations. Attorney Brittnie Baker said Scott has denied her clients the right to once again vote because of traffic violations or admitting they drank or used drugs.

Voters in 11 municipalities in South Broward and Palm Beach County are going to the polls on Tuesday to elect local authorities. 

In Broward County, there will be elections in:

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