State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Tag: DNC

The Uninstructed Delegate: How Wisconsin’s Presidential Primary System Respects the Power of Voters and Parties

By: Colin Neal

In the wake of the historically violent 1968 Democratic National Convention, there was a national surge in favor of placing more of the political power of parties in the hands of the voters rather than the party elites. In the following decades, states have shifted towards a nomination system that ensures that the winner of a state’s primary—in which citizens have the right to vote for the candidate they choose for the nomination—will receive that state’s votes for nomination at the national party. The safeguards in place for maintenance of party power, such as the Democrat’s Superdelegates, ensure that some power remains in the hands of the party elites. However, these safeguards have also come under attack for their fortification of the party favorite early into an election, regardless of the popular will.

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Protecting the “Purity” of Maryland’s Elections

By: Drew Marvel

In 2013, the State of Maryland entered into a five-year, $7.5 million procurement contract with ByteGrid LLC, a company specializing in computer systems, data management, and software engineering. The deal outsourced, among other things, many of the State Board of Elections’ online systems and election data, including the state-wide voter registration and candidacy platform, the election-management system, the online ballot-delivery system, and the site which reports the unofficial results on election night. All of these election systems, and the voter information and data associated with them, are now housed and stored on servers owned and operated by ByteGrid LLC.

What Maryland officials didn’t know was that in 2015 ByteGrid LLC was quietly acquired by Altpoint Capital Partners, a financing company whose principal investor is Vladimir Potanin, a wealthy Russian oligarch linked to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.

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