Election integrity

Next GOP Voter Suppression Ploy Targets Students

Reading Time: 5 minutesCollege students voted at record levels in the 2018 midterm elections, paving the way for the Democrats’ victory in key states — and some Republicans have taken notice. From interfering with early voting, to irrational voter ID laws, Republican-led states have made extraordinary strides in preventing eligible people from voting.

Census Citizenship Question: A No-Win Scenario for Countless Families

Reading Time: 4 minutesIf the Supreme Court allows the Trump administration to ask everyone in the US about their citizenship status in the 2020 census, millions of households will have a tough decision to make come next year. Their choices: 1) Accurately report the number of noncitizens living in their household; or

Kansas Already Picked the First Winner of the Democratic Primary

Reading Time: 3 minutesElection reformers are touting Kansas as a trailblazer in making US elections fairer and more representative.To this end, the state Democratic party is replacing the old caucus system with ,or RCV.

Will Microsoft Save America’s Elections?

Reading Time: 5 minutesThree voting-machine vendors — Election Systems & Software, Hart InterCivic, and Dominion Voting Systems — make up roughly 90 percent of the US market.

James Baker’s FBI Redemption Tour

Reading Time: 7 minutesFormer FBI general counsel James Baker said he is “tremendously worried” about Russian attempts to disrupt the 2020 election, adding that “our systems are highly vulnerable” to such interference. Baker argued that the diverse and “not well-connected” 8,800 jurisdictions “that conduct voting every presidential election [are] a lot of attack surface for the bad guys to go after.”

Activists to Presidential Candidates: US Democracy Is Broken, Fix It!

Reading Time: 4 minutesSounding the alarm on an eroding US democracy, a coalition of more than 100 good-governance, civil rights, and other groups is urging all presidential candidates and President Donald Trump to make democracy reform a priority on the campaign trail and when in office.

A Presidential Candidate Is Speaking Out About Voter Suppression

Reading Time: 4 minutesDemocratic presidential candidates have rarely talked about voting rights and threats to election integrity in recent years, but that appears to be changing. At the same time, House Democrats are making a concerted effort to highlight the problems plaguing US elections — and activists are excited that the issue may finally be getting the attention it deserves.

Blue States Are Banding Together to Sidestep the Electoral College

The 2016 presidential campaign was historically unprecedented in a number of ways, not the least of which was that the losing candidate got nearly three million more popular votes than the winner. Ever since November 2016, national Democrats have been scrutinizing ways to take full advantage of Hillary Clinton’s popular vote victory and make it work for them in 2020.

Voter Roll Purges: Another Trick for Disenfranchising Voters?

A California settlement could lead to a massive voter roll purge after conservative watchdog groups, news outlets, and right-leaning politicians claim state election officials aren’t doing enough to maintain the state’s voter rolls.Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, sued California in 2017, claiming 11 counties in the state had more registered voters than eligible residents.

New ‘Hybrid’ Voting System Can Change Paper Ballot After It’s Been Cast

For years, election security experts have assured us that, if properly implemented, /want-to-know-if-the-election-was-hacked-look-at-the-ballots-c61a6113b0ba">paper ballots and routine manual audits can catch electronic vote tally manipulation.Unfortunately, there is no universal definition of “paper ballot,” which has enabled vendors and their

Democracy Reform Advocates Hail HR 1 as First Step in a Winnable Battle

Despite pushback in the Senate, advocates for democratic reforms say the recent House passage of sweeping election law changes is a critical “step one” in a three- to five-year battle to reclaim democracy.Further, they say, the legislation package HR 1, known as the “For the People Act,” will sharply differentiate Democrats from Republicans in the 2020 elections.House members passed HR 1  on a party-line vote (234–193) on March 8.The 622-page bill introduced by Rep.

For Stacey Abrams, Voter Suppression Is Personal

Stacey Abrams, whose unsuccessful campaign for governor highlighted voter suppression in Georgia, will announce her next election decision by the end of March. There is a lot of speculation about whether she’ll opt to run against incumbent Senator David Perdue (R-GA), or join the crowd seeking the Democratic nomination for president.

Philly Ignores Cybersecurity and Disability Access in Voting System Selection

Philadelphia is about to replace its aging voting equipment. This would be good news, except that the city’s election commission has omitted cybersecurity and disability access as relevant considerations in its to prospective vendors.

Will a Republican Become Virginia Governor Because of Voter Suppression?

There is a very real possibility that Virginia’s top three officials — all of them Democrats — could be forced to resign over various scandals. That would leave the state’s House Speaker Kirk Cox, a Republican, in charge. In itself, that would be interesting but not remarkable. What is remarkable is how Cox got elected: Because the race in Virginia’s 94th district ended up tied, the GOP candidate won by drawing lots.

Activists Sue Texas for Fake Voter Fraud Alert

Texas officials caused quite a splash this week when they suggested that tens of thousands of noncitizens may have voted illegally since 1996. But it quickly became apparent that not all was what these officials made it seem to be — and now they find themselves on the receiving end of a class action lawsuit.

The Texas Two-Step on Voter Fraud: Make Outlandish Claims, Then Walk Them Back

Incendiary claims by the Texas secretary of state that 95,000 non-citizens are registered to vote in Texas are already back by Texas state officials, who made headlines with what appear to be poorly documented charges.

Election Advocates Eye Florida Fixes for 2020

The 2020 presidential race could come down to Florida. But unless drastic changes are made, election advocates believe the next presidential vote count in the Sunshine State will be yet another mess.

League of Women Voters Gets Trump Bump

The League of Women Voters is experiencing a surge of new blood, new resources, and new energy. But it is the League’s “old” values that are attracting new members. Values like nonpartisanship and integrity, civility, and a refusal to be bullied.

Supreme Court Could Get in the Way of Gerrymandering Reform

The US Supreme Court’s Friday to take on two cases that deal with partisan gerrymandering is worrying some critics, who argue that a ruling could set a dangerous precedent that prevents lower courts and other bodies from intervening.The Supreme Court will likely hear oral arguments in the cases of

Wrong Votes and System Failures Mar South Carolina Elections, Report Finds

South Carolina miscounted hundreds of votes in the 2018 primary and midterm elections, according to a by the League of Women Voters state chapter. The errors cast doubt on the quality of programming in the election computers, on the functionality of the old hardware, and on the state’s current election infrastructure itself.

2018 Georgia Midterms: A Microcosm of the War on Election Integrity

The crown jewel of our work in 2018 was the coverage of Georgia’s midterm election. Early on, WhoWhatWhy realized that the gubernatorial race and the issue of voter suppression would be national news, so we dedicated unprecedented (for us) resources to shine a light on the status of voting rights in the Peach State.

WhoWhatWhy’s Top Election Integrity Stories of 2018

There is probably not another news outlet in the US that dedicated such a high share of its resources to covering election integrity. This year alone, we published more than 100 articles on this vital issue. Why are we doing this? Because we understand that the right to vote — and fair elections — are under assault. The stories below illustrate how far-reaching these threats to democracy are.

Finally, Help Arrives to Streamline Chaotic Voting Rights Restoration Process

Willie Mack found out by accident that he could register to vote. He had been filing a change-of-address form at the local department of public safety when, to his surprise, the agent helping him asked if he wanted to register to vote. Given his record of past criminal convictions, Mack asked if he could. The woman helping him confirmed, so Mack filed the paperwork.

We Don’t Know What Our Computers Are Doing

Most of us really don’t know what our computers are doing. We just know that we use them for working, communicating, shopping, banking, and having fun. But the reality is that IT experts don’t know either.This was demonstrated by several recent stories of security failures and hardware flaws of an extraordinary nature.

5 Years After ‘Shelby County,’ Democracy Has Suffered

Five years ago, the Supreme Court handed states with a history of discrimination a blank check to make it more difficult for certain demographics to vote. Within 24 hours, they started to cash in. Polling locations closed and early voting windows shortened. No longer subject to federal oversight, state legislators implemented voter identification laws. The court’s landmark decision in Shelby County v. Eric Holder triggered a fundamental shift in managing discrimination at the ballot box.

Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission Was… a Fraud

New documents demonstrate that President Donald Trump’s commission on election integrity was definitively full of hot air. Emails from the commission, coined the “voter fraud commission,” reveal behind-the-scenes exchanges aiming to make something out of nothing. The Commission, created in May 2017 and disbanded in January 2018 was a project created to address what the president, and others, alleged was a national voter fraud crisis. A bipartisan group of commissioners began investigating the issue.

Use It or Lose It — Voter Purges on the Rise

Most people do not wake up every day wondering if their name is still on the voter registration rolls. But maybe more of them should.In the past decade, voter purges have grown in intensity, sometimes removing thousands of eligible voters from the rolls.

Voting Machine Company Admits Installing Vulnerable Remote-Access Software

Last week special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russians for allegedly hacking into computers belonging to the Democratic Party. Concern over the threat of foreign cyberattacks affecting the outcome of US elections is now seemingly on everyone’s radar. But perhaps more worrisome is the lack of a cyber defense against it. A recent case in point demonstrates the problem, and has left many cyber experts shaking their heads.

Advocates Fight Voter Suppression Measures by Helping Citizens Get Voter IDs

Legislation counteracting voter ID laws is too slow so voting rights advocates are taking matters into their own hands. Organizations like and have been providing practical — if labor-intensive — ways of getting identification into the hands of voters who need it.

Justice Kennedy’s Departure a Grim Prospect for Election Reform

Justice Anthony Kennedy&;s retirement from the Supreme Court may very well dampen the prospects for the court taking on partisan redistricting. Even worse, a Supreme Court dominated by conservatives could open the floodgates for partisan gerrymanders and voter suppression efforts.