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Hennessy, M. Kifer, and M. Issue engagement on congressional candidate web sites, — Social Science Computer Review 28 1 , 3— The technological development of congressional candidate web sites. Social Science Computer Review 25 4 , — Timeless strategy meets new medium: Going negative on congressional campaign web sites, — Political Communication 27 1 , 88— Foot, K. Web campaigning. Gueorguieva, V. Voters, MySpace, and YouTube: The impact of alternative communication channels on the election cycle and beyond. Social Science Computer Review 26 3 , — Gulati, G. Journal of Information Technology and Politics 7 2 , 93— The persuadable voter.

Hindman, M. The myth of digital democracy. Howard, P. Deep democracy, Thin citizenship: The impact of digital media in political campaign strategy. Jamieson, K. Echo chamber. Jenkins, H. Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. Johnson, T. Braima, and J. Doing the traditional media sidestep: Comparing the effects of the Internet and other nontraditional media with traditional media in the presidential campaign. A boost or bust for democracy? How the Web influenced political behaviors in the and presidential elections.

In blog we trust? Deciphering credibility of components of the Internet among politically interested Internet users. Computers in Human Behavior 25 1 , — Kaye, B. Online and in the know: Uses and gratifications of the Web for political information. Kenski, K. Connections between Internet use and political efficacy, knowledge, and participation. LaRose, R. A social cognitive theory of Internet uses and gratifications: Toward a new model of media attendance. Lepore, J. The whites of their eyes. Lupia, A. Journal of Politics 67 4 , — Mutz, D.

Facilitating communication across lines of political difference: The role of mass media. American Political Science Review 95 1 , 97— Norris, P. A virtuous circle? Political communications in post-industrial democracies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Owen, D. Media messages in American presidential elections.

Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Election media and youth political engagement. Journal of Social Science Education 38 2 , 14— Media: The complex interplay of old and new forms. Medvic Ed. New York: Routledge. The Internet and voter decision-making.

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United States: Internet and elections. Ward, D. Owen, R. Davis, and D. Taras Eds. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. Do campaign web sites really matter in electoral civic engagement? Social Science Computer Review 26 2 , — Park, H. Do campaign websites really matter in electoral civic engagement?

Empirical evidence from the and Internet tracking survey. Panagopoulos Ed. Pauwels, L. Strategic and tactical uses of Internet design and infrastructure: The case of YouTube. Journal of Visual Literacy 28 1 , 51— Prior, M. News vs. American Journal of Political Science 49 3 , — Project for Excellence in Journalism. Parsing election day media—How the midterm message varied by platform. Washington, DC, November 5. Quan-Haase, A. Uses and gratifications of social media: A comparison of Facebook and instant messaging. Bulletin of Science and Technology 30 5 , — Ruggiero, T.

Uses and gratifications theory in the 21st century. Mass Communication and Society 3 1 , 3— Shah, D. McLeod, and So-Hyang Yoon. Communication, context, and community: An exploration of print, broadcast, and Internet influences. Communication Research 28 4 , — Shao, G. Understanding the appeal of user-generated media: A uses and gratification perspective. Internet Research 19 1 , 7— Smith, A. The Internet in campaign Stromer-Galley, J. On-line interaction and why candidates avoid it.

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A Voter's Guide to Safeguard California's Election Process

Niche news. Sunstein, C. Tolbert, C. Unraveling the effects of the Internet on political participation. Political Research Quarterly 56 2 , — Wang, Song-In. Political use of the Internet, political attitudes, and political participation. Asian Journal of Communication 17 4 , — Weaver, D. Voter learning and interest in the presidential election: Did the media matter? Wei, R. News media use and knowledge about the U. International Journal of Public Opinion Research 20 3 , — Zhang, W. Seltzer, and S. We also did not address every issue or policy challenge that impedes cybersecurity readiness.

Instead, we focused on the vulnerabilities and threats that align to create risk to our election process. Finally, we understand that election officials already face many challenges in delivering accessible, accurate and secure elections—not least of which are constraints on financial and staffing resources. This Playbook is written with those realities in mind. We hope this guide will give election officials more confidence in deciding how to approach security strategies and a greater common understanding in working with the technical specialists needed to implement these strategies.

Common Ground : provides 10 best practice principles applicable to every election jurisdiction and a list of research security insights by election system. Technical Recommendations : offers basic risk-mitigation recommendations specific to five components of the election system: voter registration databases, vote casting, vote tallying, election night reporting, and internal and public communications.

Our appendices offer more specific recommendations on two complex topics: vendor selection and maintenance, and election auditing. Running elections is complicated. It requires year-round preparation and coordination. Election officials have a lot to manage to ensure that the process remains free, fair, and accessible. An attack targeting a network for the purpose of disrupting, disabling, destroying, or maliciously controlling it; or an attempt to destroy the integrity of data or steal controlled information.

Common attacks include: spear phishing to gain unauthorized access to existing accounts , denial of service DoS , and device takeover. Digital technologies like social media have made it possible for nation-states to organize information operations at an unprecedented scale. Because the tools needed for information operations are incredibly cheap and widely accessible all you need is access to the Internet , adversaries use information operations to gain an asymmetric advantage over the U.

Common information operation tactics include: spreading fake or misleading information online, leaking stolen information online, and using social media to amplify opposing views and stir political conflict. Cyber attack and information operations tactics are often used in coordination. Alternatively, social media login credentials might be stolen, and an official account then used to create confusion. A core tenet of democracy is that the government reflects the will of the people.

Perception is reality. An adversary can manipulate the outcome of an election through actual cyber operations, but they can get the same result i. The U. The case was not the first time malicious actors have meddled with U. While these foreign operations are traditionally a matter for the intelligence community and federal law enforcement, responsibility to secure elections ultimately falls on local and state officials. The federal government provides national-level guidance, but state and local governments administer elections.

In almost every state, local officials at the county or municipal level have direct responsibility for the conduct of elections in jurisdictions ranging in size from a few dozen to nearly eight million eligible voters. The distributed and decentralized nature of elections is both good and bad for cybersecurity. Fortunately, decentralization makes it hard, though not impossible, for a single cyber operation to compromise multiple jurisdictions. Smaller jurisdictions with fewer resources may be seen as more vulnerable targets by adversaries. Our nationwide security survey of states and territories reinforced this, with the most frequent concern noted by election officials being insufficient resources to secure the process, especially in smaller counties.

A range of adversaries have both the capability and intent to inflict harm on the democratic process using cyber and information operations tools. They can do this from an ocean away or right down the street. This partial success, and the U. Nation-states pose the most well-resourced and persistent threat. Russian meddlers also probed information systems related to voter registration in 21 states, gaining access to at least two systems. Media sources also reported Russian hackers allegedly penetrated a U. In the run-up to as well as since the election, Russian-affiliated groups have conducted information operations using social media sites, exploiting existing fissures in American society.

Similar coordinated efforts combining cyber attacks and information operations attempted to influence the Ukrainian and French elections. China : In the and U. These breaches appear to have been focused on intelligence gathering as there is no evidence hackers released stolen materials, or attempted to interfere with state election systems. Iran : In , the U. Justice Department identified Iran as the culprit in a cyber attack against a small piece of U. Iran demonstrated strong cyber operational capabilities during its penetration of U. Navy unclassified networks in North Korea : While there is no evidence to date of North Korean election-related hacking, the regime has targeted other industries.

National Health Service, to North Korea. Additionally, government-linked hackers have conducted a series of cyber attacks on financial institutions, central banks, and the global SWIFT financial transaction system, with the aim of raising money for the regime. Heightening tensions between North Korea and the U. From a cyber perspective, every part of the election process that involves some type of electronic device or software is vulnerable to exploitation or disruption. When discussing election cybersecurity, the focus is often on voting machines.

However, voting machines are only one part of a complex, interconnected system. Securing elections requires securing the entire process, because any element of the system could be the weak point that a malicious actor exploits. We have broken the election system and its components into three levels of operation relating to cybersecurity risk. Officials in all jurisdictions, regardless of size, must secure the process at each level. Computers and software are present in every component of the election process, which means so are vulnerabilities.

The potential attack vectors into an election system are both technical and human. They include those who develop and maintain the system, as well as the system itself. Ultimately, most cybersecurity breaches result from malicious actors exploiting human behavior, not technical shortcomings. This is true across all sectors and industries, and election systems will likely be no exception. Vendors of election systems or election software are also easy, valuable targets for malicious actors.

Vendors play a critical role in supporting elections at both the state and local levels: from the computers used to access information, the servers that house information, the management of the databases that contain the information, the machines used to cast and tally votes, the websites and software used to display information and results, to the software that creates ballot designs or helps transfer information across systems. Some vendors are involved on such a broad scale that they can become a single point of failure at a national or state level.

For example, over 60 percent of American voters cast ballots on systems owned and operated by a single vendor. In the presidential election, this vendor produced over million ballots in more than 4, election jurisdictions and 40 states. The same single point of failure can exist at the state level. For example, one state contracted with a single vendor to do all of its state maintenance and ballot definition files for the elections.

The following figure describes common cyber and information operations that target each level of the election system. It provides a basic overview of the threats that election officials face from malicious actors. During our field research we learned a lot of great insights from election officials who are making cybersecurity a reality.

This list reflects many of those ground-level insights, classified by the key components of the election system. For detailed technical specifications, refer to the Technical Recommendations section. There is no such thing as perfect security; however, there are preventative measures that make the process much more secure.

In the Common Ground section, we provided best practices that apply across all election jurisdictions and some system-specific insights. In this section, we elaborate on these concepts with specific technical recommendations as they relate to five components of the election system: voter registration databases, vote casting, vote tallying systems, election night reporting, and internal and public communications.

As we highlighted in Common Ground, system defense is a critical first step in securing the elections process. As we said in the introduction, our recommendations represent a baseline. This is not intended to be a comprehensive technical reference for IT professionals. But we do want to emphasize IT professionals are critical to establishing and maintaining a secure election system and their expertise will be needed for many of our recommendations.

Threats are constantly evolving and IT professionals will help you get beyond what this Playbook provides and keep you abreast of the latest threats and defenses. Voter registration databases VRDBs store information on registered voters in a given state. Throughout this document, we refer to this centralized, computerized list as the VRDB.

Some states offer online registration , allowing voters to register and edit their record via a public-facing online portal connected to the VRDB. Some states offer same-day registration , while others require voters to register before election day. Closely linked to VRDBs are the pollbooks used on election day.

States may choose to only use paper pollbooks, or may use electronic pollbooks e-Pollbooks to process voters on election day. These are usually tablets or laptops and can be networked into a central voter registration system allowing them to check and update voter records in real time, for example to allow for same-day voter registration , or they can be stand alone at the precinct containing a separate, offline copy of the electors list.

Across both VRDBs and e-Pollbooks, states may choose to develop and maintain the software in-house, or may outsource this work to an external vendor. Once it is connected to the database, an attacker can add, edit, or delete voters, allowing for false votes to be cast on election day or forcing voters to cast provisional ballots.

Even if this does not affect actual vote outcomes, the perception of vote manipulation or voter suppression can significantly undermine the credibility of an election. Maintenance : An insufficient or poorly timed maintenance and patching regime leaves security vulnerabilities open and can expose the VRDB to attacks. Account compromise : Attackers might compromise the accounts of election officials with access to the VRDB; without proper controls in place this could allow the attacker to add, edit, or delete voter entries. In the absence of proper logging and monitoring, these changes may go unnoticed until election day and affect the ability of voters to cast ballots.

Third-party system compromise : Third-party systems e. If these systems are allowed to feed directly into the VRDB, or if the review and approval process at the state and county level is insufficient, there is a risk that the compromise could allow malicious actors to manipulate voter status. Website spoofing : Attackers could pose as the official website to either give voters the illusion that their information is updated or in an attempt to capture that information.

Distributed Denial of Service : Attackers can conduct DDoS attacks on the public-facing voter registration website, preventing voters from registering and potentially discouraging them from participation. External connectivity : An unsecured website presents another vector for a malicious actor to penetrate the VRDB. If it is not properly secured, an attacker may be able to use it to change any vote record. Large-scale data alteration : An attacker could use information leaked on the Internet to impersonate many different voters and attempt to update their registration details.

Once on the device they are able to manipulate the voting roll—either deleting or altering existing voter registration data. Altering of State Voter Roll via e-Pollbook : If an e-Pollbook has a live connection to the state election day voter roll, compromising one device could be used to change statewide records. Failure to do so will provide malicious actors an opening into the device. A hash is like a fingerprint for digital files—the hash of a file will not change unless the actual file changes. Using a hash while transferring files will allow you to confirm that the file has not been altered in transit if the hashes computed by each party are the same.


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If you decide to use a hash, transfer it through a different channel than you used to obtain the files and compare it to the hash you compute. By sending them separately, such as downloading the file from a website and reading out the hash over the phone, you prevent the attacker from changing the hash at the same time as the file. A more secure option is to use a digital signature. It is a form of encryption which is equivalent to a seal on a physical document; it guarantees that the file came from a specific trusted source and that its contents have not been modified in transit.

See General Vendor Recommendations at the bottom of Technical Recommendations section for best practices that apply to working with vendors and mitigating potential vulnerabilities. Additional contract-specific recommendations are also provided in Appendix 1: Vendor Selection and Maintenance. Vote casting devices serve as the primary conduit for the actual ballot marking or mark recording process on election day. Most states and counties today use some variation on two types of vote casting devices:.

In recent years, alternate voting methods, particularly vote-by-mail and early voting, are becoming increasingly popular with voters. These jurisdictions often utilize central count facilities where paper ballots are consolidated for tallying. Device tampering : Voting machines can be compromised via physical tampering including using removable media or through external connectivity e.

This would allow the attacker to change the reported vote information. Should a malicious actor compromise such a machine, votes could be lost and results thrown into question. Supply chain interdiction : A malicious actor could use vendors as a pathway to plant malware to modify or compromise a ballot definition file before it reaches the hands of election officials. Vote tallying covers the various devices and networks used to tabulate ballots and aggregate results. Based on differences in setup across states and counties, this process can start at the polling site for example, precinct count optical scanners that tabulate ballots onsite , or at more centralized counting facilities.

In many instances vote tallying is conducted at the county level, where voting sites through a variety of methods e. This section discusses common threats and remedies seen across many system set-ups. Manipulation of tabulation systems : A compromised tallying machine at a polling site or central counting facility could allow an attacker to directly manipulate tallies before they are transmitted to the county or state.

USB devices can be exposed to malware and compromised at the supplier level or through a previous use in an infected machine. This compromise could result in manipulated data and could also lead the tallying machine itself to become compromised, exposing the system to future exploits. These allow adversaries to manipulate results before they are received at the county or state level.

Denial of service : Counties or, where relevant, states, receive results from precinct or centralized counting facilities over the network. Servers can be targeted with a DoS attack by an adversary, resulting in delays in vote reporting during election night. Know the certification status of all your equipment. Many states have their own certification process.

In many cases, the machines used to tally results will have been provided by vendors who will be involved in the maintenance of those machines. A compromise at this level could cause vote totals to be calculated incorrectly, compromising public trust in the election even if the correct totals are eventually reported. Additional contract specific recommendations are also provided in Appendix 1: Vendor Selection and Maintenance.

Election night reporting ENR consists of the systems and processes for aggregating and communicating the unofficial election results to the public and media after polls close, usually via a website. Counties and states may also report election night results via social media—please see the Internal and Public-facing Communications section for best practice in securing social media accounts.

ENR setups vary by state across three principal dimensions defined below:. Transmission : In a state-run ENR setup, counties submit their vote reports to the centralized system provided by the state. Manipulation of ENR systems : Configuration errors can leave ENR systems vulnerable to exploits or unauthorized access, allowing adversaries to manipulate the vote counts after they have been received in the state or county ENR system. Website spoofing : Attackers could redirect public inquiries to a spoofed website, which pretends to be the official ENR system but in reality is controlled by a malicious actor.

For example, this could be used in disinformation campaigns to depress voter turnout by saying an election has already been called. Our recommendations should be implemented by the county, state, or external vendor, as appropriate. This tends to consist of four key communication channels: internal email communication, official election-related websites, official social media accounts, and the private social media accounts of key officials.

Election officials communicate extensively with the public through both official election websites and official social media accounts e. This communication is separate from, and in addition to, election night reporting which we cover in the section above , and includes, for example, communication to raise awareness of upcoming elections, key deadlines, e. Website manipulation e. For example, attackers could alter polling site locations and times to make it harder for voters to find their designated vote site. Spoofed websites : To sow distrust in the process, attackers may replicate the official state or county website and post the opposite results than is being reported—for instance the winner of Race A is now the loser.

Distributed denial of service attacks : Similar to voter registration sites, attackers could attempt to shut down official websites on election day to inhibit voters from knowing their designated voting location. The attackers then post misinformation about certain voting sites having several hour wait times and direct voters to alternate sites which are then overwhelmed. Fake accounts : Malicious actors create a fake Twitter account for an election official e.

The fake account then posts the wrong unofficial election results after polls close. See Appendix 1, Vendor Selection and Management, for best practices related to vendor contracts. Election system vendors are key partners in addressing cybersecurity risks. Their systems, by definition, increase the attack surface and present additional risk factors that must be mitigated to address cyber threats.

Since vendors often develop and maintain systems critical to elections such as ballot counting equipment and VRDBs , it is crucial to ensure that their protocols and practices meet rigorous cybersecurity standards. Performing a security risk assessment of vendors during the request for proposal RFP process can reveal vendor vulnerabilities and reduce future exposure to external attacks. With the above principles in mind, security requirements should be clarified in RFPs to ensure that vendors are limiting cyber risks while working with the states or counties.

The following set of core security requirements are not exhaustive, but they do provide a foundation to include in vendor RFPs. Each vendor bidder should be required to:. Transparency requirements should also be established in the RFP to ensure that officials have the ability to perform due diligence and conduct independent security risk assessments. Moreover, transparency will aid in identifying potential conflicts of interest.

Non-Disclosure Agreements will protect vendor proprietary information, in exchange for receiving access to:. While following cybersecurity best practices will help deter and defend against malicious actors, there is no such thing as an impenetrable system. Even if an election system is not attacked, software or hardware errors could lead to an incorrect vote tally. You should conduct a post-election statistical audit with these paper voting records.

Such audits provide two critical benefits: 1 they offer transparency and build public confidence in the system and process; 2 they confirm the accuracy of the results, or, on rare occasion, identify that an error has occurred and must be addressed. Post-election audits are designed to be an independent confirmation of the election result. These audits should be observable and reproducible by external third parties. This requires making data necessary to conduct the audit publicly available to independent parties so that they can confirm audit results.

There are two main methods of post-election audits. Since performing a full hand-count of every ballot is extremely time-intensive and the results will likely be inaccurate, other methods are used to inspect the results with a manageable amount of work. The first audit type uses a fixed percentage of ballots cast.

This method, however, can overestimate or underestimate the necessary number of ballots required for a successful audit. As the margin of victory between the winner and loser narrows, more ballots are required to ensure an accurate audit. Typical implementations of statistical audits could require multiple rounds of ballot inspection if discrepancies are found with recounted ballots.

If the statistical audit fails, a full recount of all ballots is necessary to ensure the election has not been compromised. Fixed-percentage audits provide some evidence that results are valid. One example process: Counties indicate to the Secretary of State or State Election Director which machines they will use in the election, then the Secretary of State or Election Director randomly selects one DRE and one optical ballot scanner per county. The county must then audit a fixed percentage e. This process ensures that, for the randomly selected machines, the pre-election logic and accuracy tests were successfully conducted, a chain-of-custody was maintained, and the devices functioned properly on election day.

The weakness of a fixed-percentage audit is that specific devices, rather than the election itself, are audited. Election officials cannot be certain that the election as a whole was conducted correctly, but this may be the best available option for some counties with limited resources or technology. The first step in any risk-limiting audit is setting the risk limit. Setting a 5 percent limit means that if an audit is conducted on an election that did, in fact, experience tampering, there is at most a 5 percent chance that the audit will not discover the error and at least a 95 percent chance that the audit will find the election outcome to be manipulated.

The number of ballots required for a risk-limiting audit is determined by the risk limit and margin of victory. A closer election or lower limit requires more ballots to be audited. There are two types of risk-limiting audits: 1 comparison audits and 2 ballot-polling audits. There has been extensive research on this issue by leading experts in the field of election auditing. The following reports can provide additional information:.


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There are many threats that could undermine the democratic process; fortunately, election officials are not in this alone. There are resources available that can help defend against those threats, including free ones. Services include:. Other software development firms are developing free open source software to assist states and localities in conducting risk-limiting audits.

Several highly experienced cybersecurity firms also offer penetration testing and risk vulnerability assessments. The National Guard is building cyber units in many states and territories. These units align with the Army and Air Force. When not performing their federal mission, these units may be available for state-specific tasking under state authorities. Several states have employed their National Guard cyber capabilities to participate in activities such as vulnerability assessments and penetration testing.

If states do not have a resident National Guard cyber capability, they can potentially partner for support with nearby states who do have this resource. These compacts act as a complement to the federal disaster response system, providing timely and cost-effective relief to states requesting assistance. A useful analogy is to consider National Guard support in cyberspace in a similar light as the laying of sandbags before a storm in the physical world.

Everyone is a security official. Take cybersecurity seriously. Take responsibility for reducing risk, training your staff, and setting the example. Human error is the number one cause of breaches. Spear-phishing attacks and other attempts at interference can be thwarted with cybersecurity vigilance. Use two-factor authentication 2FA :. Use two-factor authentication for everything: official work accounts, personal email accounts, social media accounts, and any data storage services.

Use a mobile app such as Google Authenticator, Duo, or Authy or a physical key such as Yubikey or other U2F devices for your second factor, not text messaging. Create long, strong passwords:. Current computing capabilities can crack a seven-character password in milliseconds. Keep credentials secure:.

When collaborating with others, resist the temptation to share credentials to systems with them, regardless of who they are. Practice cyber hygiene:. Follow all applicable guidance for patching and software updates. Ensure that your systems have the most updated antivirus software. Access control The process of granting or denying specific requests: 1 obtain and use information and related information processing services; and 2 enter specific physical facilities. Advanced Persistent Threat An adversary who possesses sophisticated levels of expertise and significant resources that allow it to create opportunities to achieve its objectives by using multiple attack vectors e.

These objectives typically include establishing and extending footholds within the information technology infrastructure of the targeted organizations for purposes of exfiltrating information, undermining or impeding critical aspects of a mission, program, or organization; or positioning itself to carry out these objectives in the future. Air gap An interface between two systems at which a they are not connected physically and b any logical connection is not automated i.

Asset A major application, general support system, high impact program, physical plan, mission-critical system, personnel, equipment, or a logically related group of systems. Attack An attempt to gain unauthorized access to system services, resources, or information, or an attempt to compromise system integrity, availability, or confidentiality. Attacker A party who acts with malicious intent to compromise an information system.

Authentication Verifying the identity of a user, process, or device, often as a prerequisite to allowing access to resources in an information system. Backups A copy of files and programs made to facilitate recovery if necessary. Black-box testing A test methodology that assumes no knowledge of the internal structure and implementation detail of the assessment object.

Also known as basic testing. Blacklist A list of entities that are blocked or denied privileges or access. Breach Compromise of security that leads to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to, protected information. Compromise A violation of the security policy of a system such that an unauthorized disclosure, modification, or destruction of sensitive information has occurred. Critical infrastructure System and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on national security, economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.

Cybersecurity Prevention of damage to, protection of, and restoration of computers, electronic communications systems, electronic communications services, wire communication, and electronic communication, including information contained therein, to ensure its availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and nonrepudiation. Data Loss The exposure of proprietary, sensitive, or classified information through either data theft or data leakage. Decryption The process of changing ciphertext into plain text using a cryptographic algorithm and key.

Denial of Service The prevention of authorized access to resources or the delating of time-critical operations. Not only did I receive a voter information guide with my new name on it, I got another one with my maiden name on it. What can I do to make sure I only receive one voter information guide next time? The situation you describe is one of the most common causes of duplicate registrations on the voter registration rolls. In your case, you should contact your county elections official and make clear to them which name you are currently, legally using and ask them to remove the other from the voter rolls.

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Anyone who changes their name should be sure to fill in the box on the voter registration card that asks for previous registration information. This will allow the prior registration on file to be revised. I noticed that there are 30 people registered to vote at the local homeless shelter. Can people really register to vote at a temporary location like a homeless shelter? Both state law and judicial rulings support the right of homeless persons to register to vote.

They may register to vote as long as they maintain a fixed location where they can receive mail and at which they can be properly assigned to a precinct. My son just moved onto his college campus and wants to transfer his registration so he can vote there instead. Can he do that? He should re-register by filling out a new voter registration card with his new residence and filling in the prior registration information so his prior registration will be revised.

However, he may remain registered at his permanent residence, such as your home, and simply request that a vote-by-mail ballot be sent to him. The decision as to where he registers and votes is up to him, but he can only be registered in one location and vote once. I own a home on the coast that is three hours from my job in the city.

I also own a townhouse in the city where I reside during the week, but I return home on the weekends to be with my family. From which residence address am I legally entitled to register and vote? In this type of situation, the decision as to where you register and vote is up to you, but you must choose one. A person helped me fill out my voter registration card. After he took it back from me to turn it in, he marked the box for a political party that I'm not sure I wanted to register with.

Is that legal? People who assist others to register to vote, whether they are being paid or not, are prohibited from altering your affidavit or pre-marking it before they give it to you. When I was signing the roster at the polls before I went into the voting booth, I saw the name of my neighbor's dog on the rolls. What can I do to report this unlawful act? State law specifically makes it illegal for anyone to register a nonexistent person. I applied for my vote-by-mail ballot on a form I got in the mail from one of the campaigns.

After I received my vote-by-mail ballot, I voted the ballot and mailed it in. What if my voted ballot arrives at the county elections office tomorrow and I vote in person, too? It is against the law to intentionally vote or try to vote both by mail and in person. I work a a. I do not have sufficient time to go and vote during my lunch hour.

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What can I do? If you do not have sufficient time outside of working hours to get to the polls and vote in a statewide election, state law provides up to two hours of paid time off to vote. Those two hours must be at the beginning or end of your normal shift, and you must notify your employer at least two working days before the election that you will need to exercise this right. No less than 10 days before a statewide election, your employer is required to post a notice about this in a conspicuous location.

The local radio station is offering free donuts for anyone who shows up at their door and proves they've voted in the election next Tuesday. No, it is not legal if there is a federal office President, U. Senate, or House of Representatives on the ballot. Federal law prohibits anything of value being given in exchange for proof of voting. State law prohibits anything of value being given to urge a voter to vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate or measure, but it is not illegal to give away items to people solely for voting in a local or state election where no federal offices are on the ballot.

I am elderly and not very mobile. Yes, but they cannot attempt to influence you or offer you any type of reward or thing of value for voting, or talk to you about how you intend to vote. My friend is conducting a write-in campaign and is printing peel-off labels for us to put on our ballots to vote for him. Will my vote count if I use his peel-off label? Your write-in vote will not count if you use peel-off labels, stamps, or stickers.

Voters must write the name of the qualified write-in candidate and the office on the ballot or write-in envelope for the vote to be counted. I recently moved from one side of town to the other. My friend said I could go back and vote at my old polling place or I could go to the new polling place. Where should I go to vote on Election Day? If you moved on or before the registration deadline, which is 15 days prior to the election, the wisest action would be for you to re-register at your new address. You will receive your county voter information guide there with information about where you can go to vote.

In all counties, you can conditionally register or re-register to vote and vote provisionally at your current county elections office or, if designated by your county elections official, other locations as well. If you moved within the same county, the National Voter Registration Act also known as the Motor Voter law allows you to go to the polling place for your new residence to vote. If you do this, you will be required to produce identification that indicates your new residence and you will have to vote using a provisional ballot.

Finally, after the day voter registration deadline, you also have the legal right to return to your old polling place just for that election. The lady in line in front of me at the polls last election had two rowdy, noisy kids with her. After she signed in and got her ballot, the kids actually went into the voting booth with her.

Children under the age of 18 are allowed to go into the voting booth with the voter. The other day I got a mailing from a Senate candidate reminding me to vote and telling me where my polling place is. Who do I believe and are they breaking some law telling me to go to the wrong place? It was probably a mistake.

New Media and Political Campaigns

Circumstances can occur which cause polling place locations to change at the last minute before an election and sometimes campaigns have outdated information. You should rely on the information on the back of your county voter information guide. However, if you live in a county that conducts elections under the California Voter's Choice Act, there are multiple polling locations where you can vote. Can the candidate or his supporters do that?

This constitutes electioneering and any electioneering must be conducted a minimum of feet from the place where people are voting. Sometimes, a voter inadvertently leaves such materials in the voting booth. Can she wear that? If the shirt had a statement for or against something or someone on the ballot, it would not be allowed within feet of the polls.