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electionlineWeekly — July 27, 2017

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 VI. Tech Thursday

National Tech: This week, Facebook announced that it will provide funding to Defending Digital Democracy, a Harvard-based nonprofit that seeks to curb cyberattacks aimed at political groups and election systems.

California: Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin announced that hackers successfully infiltrated the state’s online voter registration system in 2016 which lead to confusion and heated exchanges between voters, polls workers and poll watchers during the June primary. Twenty formal complaints were filed by voters turned away by poll workers, leaving them unable to vote in their party’s primary. Hestrin told KQED he believes — from anecdotal accounts — that many, many more people were turned away but did not complain, opting instead to forgo voting or to vote by provisional ballot. “I have no idea who they are, or why they did this,” Hestrin said. “Not sure who did it, not sure why, just know it was happening across a broad section.”

Also in California, staff from the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters office are headed to Defcon, one of the world’s largest hacking conventions, to hope they can learn what they need to worry about as they work to create a new voting system for the county. “There is a past history in the election community ... to kind of resist this kind of event,” Registrar of Voters Dean Logan told the Los Angeles Times. “But we need to embrace this. We need to know what the threats are.”