voting

Helen Webster wanted to be involved in the school district in her small town of Kremmling, Colo.

"I just felt bad that they weren't going to have anyone run up here," she says.

So the retired teacher decided to run for a seat on the West Grand County school board. A current board member invited her to a meeting so she could get a sense of the workload.

As she sat through all the presentations detailing next year's budget needs, it dawned on her. "I thought 'oh my God, this is more than what I bit off, I don't know that I could do that,'" she laughs.

A fact-finding hearing by President Trump's commission looking into voter fraud exposed self-inflicted rifts among its members during the panel's second meeting Tuesday in Manchester, N.H.

Days earlier, the panel's Republican co-chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, wrote a column in Breitbart News claiming that there was proof of enough voter fraud in New Hampshire last November to possibly have influenced the outcome of a Senate race.

What was already expected to be a contentious second meeting for President Trump's Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, on Tuesday in Manchester, N.H., is likely to get a whole lot more contentious thanks to a column written by the panel's co-chair.

Although the chairman, Vice President Pence, said in that first meeting that the commission has "no preconceived notions or pre-ordained results," the panel's co-chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, seemed to contradict him in Breitbart News last week.

Congress is back in Washington, D.C., this week to tackle a to-do list so packed it unfurls all the way down to the Anacostia River.

Lawmakers aren't only expected to focus on taxes, the budget, the debt ceiling and other such priorities. They also could begin paying attention to the potential threats against elections next year or in 2020.

Current and former intelligence officials warn that 2016's election won't have been an isolated incident; Russian or other foreign mischief-makers could return and interfere again.

Updated at 1:08 p.m. ET Aug. 24

Congress could authorize "top secret" security clearances for each state's chief election official to help protect voting systems from cyberattacks and other potential meddling.

That provision, which was part of the Senate Intelligence Committee's 2018 policy bill for U.S. spy agencies, is one of the first concrete steps that lawmakers have taken to try to defend future elections from the sort of foreign interference that plagued the 2016 presidential race.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing President Trump's vote fraud commission, charging that the body isn't following federal law requiring it to be open to the public. The lawsuit joins a growing number concerning the commission that have been filed by civil liberties groups in recent days.

It also comes as an email was sent by Vice President Mike Pence's office to states telling them to hold off on sending voter data requested last month.

A letter from Kris Kobach, the vice chairman of a White House commission looking into voter fraud and other irregularities, is drawing fire from some state election officials. The letter, sent Wednesday to all 50 states, requests that all publicly available voter roll data be sent to the White House by July 14, five days before the panel's first meeting.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Never miss an election again, thanks to a new service from the Oklahoma State Election Board.

Oklahoma voters can sign up for text or e-mail alerts for notifications of upcoming elections and reminders to renew their annual absentee ballot requests.

State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax says the system will help Oklahoma voters, making it easier to cast their vote on Election Day.

Oklahoma has notoriously low turnout for midterms and special elections, and the new service hopes to address that issue.

In 2014, James Knowles had just been re-elected mayor without opposition when one of his city's white police officers shot and killed Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American. Knowles suddenly became the public face of Ferguson, Mo., a small town under intense scrutiny.

Some questioned whether Knowles would remain in his post. He did. And now, he is running for a third term.

The latest figures from the State Election Board show the number of registered Republicans and independents in Oklahoma is continuing to grow at the expense of Democrats.

Voter registration statistics released Tuesday show registered Republicans increased to 989,358 and now make up 45.8 percent of the electorate, compared to 44.5 percent last year. The number of registered independents also increased, rising to 316,109 and rose from 13.5 percent of the electorate in 2016 to 14.6 percent this year.

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