Virginia Extends Voter Registration Deadline Until Oct. 15 After Website Outage : NPR

Virginia’s online voter registration system went down on the worst day possible: the last day that residents are allowed to register to vote.

Bill Smith/Flickr


hide caption

toggle caption

Bill Smith/Flickr

A federal judge in Richmond has ruled that Virginia must extend online and in-person voter registration until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 15.

The order comes after a construction project accidentally cut a fiber internet line yesterday that took down several state websites, including the Department of Elections website on the last day of voter registration.

U.S. Judge John A. Gibney Jr. made the ruling early Wednesday morning in a lawsuit brought by several voter rights groups.

“There’s really not a lot of harm to the Commonwealth and the state registrars by extending the period of registration in this case,” Gibney Jr. said in the teleconference hearing, “but there is tremendous harm to the people who want to register to vote and to the people who are helping people register to vote.”

Attorney General Mark Herring, who supported the lawsuit, announced the news on Twitter as well.

Voter advocates filed a lawsuit Tuesday to extend Virginia’s deadline.

“Eligible Virginia citizens should not have to pay the price for this technological failure. Unless the voter registration deadline is extended to October 15, 2020, Plaintiffs’ members and others will be deprived of their constitutional right to vote in the November 3, 2020, election,” reads the suit filed by the New Virginia Majority Education Fund, the Virginia Civic Engagement Table and the League of Women Voters of Virginia.

Problems erupted early Tuesday morning when voters noticed they could not access online registration. The

Virginia voter registration website back up after outage on last day to register

Virginia’s voter registration website was back up Tuesday afternoon after an outage that lasted about six hours on the commonwealth’s last day to register to vote ahead of the November election.



Virginia voter registration website back up after outage on last day to register


© The Hill
Virginia voter registration website back up after outage on last day to register

The Virginia Department of Elections on Tuesday afternoon said its citizen portal – which allows residents to register to vote, update information and check their registration status – was back up.

“Thank you everyone for your patience! The citizen portal is back up, you can go to http://elections.virginia.gov/voterinfo to register to vote, update information or check your registration status,” the department tweeted.

The department earlier in the day said a cut fiber near the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center had affected the portal and the registrar’s offices.

Virginia faced a similar problem in 2016, when the website went down the final day to register to vote ahead of that year’s presidential election.

Ultimately, a judge ordered Virginia to extend its voter registration deadline in 2016 after civil rights groups sued for an extension due to the website crash.

Virginia Democrats have already pushed for the deadline to be extended this year due to the outage. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) and Democratic Reps. Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly and Jennifer Wexton have all called for an extension to the registration deadline due to the disruption.

“It is imperative that the deadline for Virginians to register to vote be extended. We hope the courts will swiftly grant such an extension, and we hope they will take into account

IT outage affects online voter registration in Pennsylvania through the weekend

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — Officials in Pennsylvania said an outage that has affected voter registration and other online services through the weekend has been resolved.

The issue began around 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Technicians identified the cause as an equipment failure at a data center managed for the commonwealth by Unisys and said technicians immediately began to work on plans for recovery.

“We are working around the clock with our vendors to bring services back online as quickly as possible and will continue to do so until operations are fully restored,” said Secretary of Administration Michael Newsome Sunday evening.

Newsome said that during the outage the affected agencies activated their continuity plans and provided additional information to customers of the impacted services.

Officials said there is no indication at this time of any malicious physical or cyber activity, or that any loss of data has occurred.

Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Source Article

Computer Outage Causing Voter Registration Disruptions With Pa. Department Of State

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With less than a month to go before the general election, a computer problem is causing issues for Pennsylvania voters.

According to the state, this outage began late Saturday.

The outage is impacting multiple state agencies including the Department of State, which oversees voting and election materials.

Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State says this is due to an issue with contractors equipment, and there’s no evidence of malicious interference. All its data is backed up.

Many of the Department of State’s election-related and professional licensing services are affected, including online voter registration and the online application for mail in ballots.

The state’s Secretary of Administration says they are working around the clock to get this problem solved.

What you can do during this outage is download the paper voter registration, mail in ballot applications, and other election related forms and applications.

Links to more information can be found at the following locations:

You can also call the state’s toll-free voter hotline to have applications mailed to you.

The state says that counties will still be able to process registrations, mail-in ballots, absentee ballot applications, and ballots with alternative processes.

Continue Reading

Source Article

Microsoft’s Azure AD authentication outage: What went wrong

azureadoutage.jpg

Credit: Microsoft

On September 28 and September 29 this week, a number of Microsoft customers worldwide were impacted by a cascading series of problems resulting in many being unable to access their Microsoft apps and services. On October 1, Microsoft posted its post-mortem about the outages, outlining what happened and next steps it plans to take to head this kind of issue off in the future.

Starting around 5:30 p.m. ET on Monday, September 28, customers began reporting they couldn’t sign into Microsoft and third-party applications which used Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) for authentication. (Yes, this means Office 365 and other Microsoft cloud services.) Those who were already signed in were less likely to have had issues. According to Microsoft’s report, users in the Americas and Australia were likely to be impacted more than those in Europe and Asia.

Microsoft acknowledged it was a service update targeting an internal validation test ring that caused a crash in Azure AD backend services. “A latent code defect in the Azure AD backend service Safe Deployment Process (SDP) system caused this to deploy directly into our production environment, by passing our normal validation process,” officials said.

Azure AD is designed to be geo-distributed and deployed with multiple partitions across multiple data centers around the world, and is built with isolation boundaries. Microsoft normally applies changes across a validation ring that doesn’t include customer data, followed by four additional rings over the course of several days before they hit production. But this week the SDP didn’t correctly target the validation ring due to a defect and all rings were targeted concurrently causing service availability to degrade, Microsoft’s report says.

Microsoft engineering knew within five minutes of the problem that something was wrong. During the next 30 minutes, Microsoft started taking steps to expedite