By Joseph Marks
Politicians and voters are fuming about technical problems that bedeviled Los Angeles County on Super Tuesday, producing hours-long voting lines and undermining confidence in the county’s new custom-built voting machines that were supposed to be a model for the nation.
It was an ugly debut for the $280 million machines, which marked the most ambitious effort in decades to create a super-secure and accessible voting system outside the grasp of a cadre of companies that control more than 90 percent of the voting machine market. The idea was to provide an alternative to mass-produced machines that experts fear are too vulnerable to Russian hacking.
Some former boosters of these machines are even worrying about another implosion in November, as my colleagues Neena Satija, Isaac Stanley-Becker and I report.
“It was $300 million and a period of years that we have been developing this, so it was very troubling that on the day of the actual vote there were some big problems,” Janice Hahn, a member of the county’s nonpartisan Board of Supervisors, told me.
Hahn introduced a measure yesterday demanding a full review of the problems from county election officials within 30 days. The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on that measure next week. “The reason we changed to this system was to create more access for people and more flexibility, so I want to make sure that the problems people experienced yesterday didn’t cause just the opposite of what we were attempting to do,” she said.
There were plenty of warnings there could be problems, as Neena and I reported before the Super Tuesday contest — including a December report from the California secretary of state’s office that found myriad security and accessibility issues.
Among the problems: The machines that tally results could be started by inserting a flash drive, creating risks that hackers could infect them with malware, and the system lacked “full disk encryption,” a
The county’s top election official, Dean Logan, told us in an
“This was a challenging day for a lot of voters in L.A. County, and I certainly apologize for that. That’s something that has to be better,” he said, adding, “I had hoped for a smoother transition.”
Voter advocates, election observers and candidates, meanwhile, slammed the county, saying the technical problems probably disenfranchised voters who couldn’t wait for hours in line. And they expressed frustration that the county used a new system for the first time during such a crucial election.
“Voters should never have to wait
The Sanders campaign filed an unsuccessful lawsuit trying to force the county to extend voting hours Tuesday night.
Mark Gonzalez, chair of the county’s Democratic Party, said he saw elderly voters and those with disabilities waiting in line for hours.
“We believed in the technology and we believed it would work because that’s what we were told, and that’s not what happened,” he said. “Machines
Reporters on the ground, meanwhile, documented voters who waited in line late into the night — and sometimes nearly to the next day. Under California law, anyone can vote provided they’re in line before polls’ 8 p.m.
Here’s Alexander Tin with CBS News:
With less than an hour until Super Tuesday turns— Alexander Tin (@ThisAlexTin) March 4, 2020
toWednesday, the 879th and final ballot has been cast at this voting center in Santa Monica
But the work continues for #lavote poll workers at this site who have to close up shop pic.twitter.com/ubgXwYckey
Another LA resident still in line to vote at 9:30 at the Hammer Museum near Beverly Hills. He says he’s been waiting for 3 hours— Brianna Sacks (@bri_sacks) March 4, 2020
Buried lede: there is a cat on a leash also still in line at this polling
locationhttps :// t.co/DqFRvlIXbl https://t.co/8cQcrWcyuP
Never had to wait to vote - until yesterday. 2— Sam Alipour (@samalipour) March 4, 2020
hr waitat my nearest polling location in west LA. Thought we Californians agreeedto make voting easier. We’re the “woke state”, right? So how bad does the rest of americahave it? So disappointing. Hope I’m an anomaly @latimes https://t.co/852RWN8vgG
PINGED, PATCHED, PWNED
Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
Among the bills the executives endorsed at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing: the recently passed Secure and Trusted Communications Network Act, which would create a $1 billion program to help small U.S.
Lawmakers introduced the bills in reaction to growing concerns that Huawei could be compelled to provide China with a back door for spying into any networks that use its equipment.
Telecommunications companies AT&T, Verizon and Juniper also wrote to Senate Commerce Committee members ahead of the hearing supporting the bill.
Huawei wasn’t invited to testify at the hearing, but two officials, Chief Security Officer Andy Purdy and Congressional affairs lead Donald Morrissey, showed up anyway and sat in the front row.
Sitting in— Andy Purdy (@andy_purdy) March 4, 2020
front rowof the hearing. Hope they will invite us to respond!! Not enough focus on what is necessary tolake America safer and equipment suppliers more secure! #huaweuusa #connectnotdivide#huawei
He and Morrissey panned the hearing for focusing more on senators’ criticism of Huawei than on ways to guarantee that all components of 5G networks are secure as possible.
Tik Tok logo.
Hawley said the ban is needed because the Chinese-owned app “tracks your search history, your keystrokes, your location,” and sends that information to the Chinese government:
.@tiktok_us tracks your search history, your keystrokes, your location - and shares it w/ #china. That’s why— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 4, 2020
Pentagon, State Dept, Homeland Security & TSA banned it for employees. I will introduce legislation to ban @tiktok_us for ALL federal employees on all govtdevices
“There's certainly no place for applications like TikTok on government devices and government networks,” Bryan Ware, assistant director
Both TikTok and Apple declined to send executives to the hearing, the second called by Hawley on the relationship between Big Tech and China. So far, there's no public evidence that TikTok shares any data from Americans
“While we think the concerns are unfounded, we understand them and are continuing to further strengthen our safeguards while increasing our dialogue with lawmakers to help explain our policies,” TikTok said in a statement.
A health note on best practices to avoid the
In one case, hackers posing as officials from the World Health Organization targeted thousands of organizations in Italy, where more than 100 people have died of the disease, with phishing emails aiming to steal their usernames and passwords.
Researchers at another
CHAT ROOMMike Bloomberg wasn’t the only long-shot former tech tycoon to drop out of the 2020 presidential race yesterday. Perennial candidate John McAfee, the gonzo founder of the anti-virus firm that bears his name, also announced his departure on Twitter. McAfee said he plans to seek the vice-presidential slot as a Libertarian.
I regret— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) March 4, 2020
That I am ending my campaign for President.
I am instead
Attempting to run
For the Vice Presidential slot.
I have asked my Campaign Manager@Loggiaonfire
To contact the Campaign of Libertarian @VerminSupreme
And offer to be his VP pick.
Full explanation in video. pic.twitter.com/750ggzJdBY