PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 23, 2020 


The holiday forecast calls for fewer cars on the road for Thanksgiving; dealing with racial impact of cap and trade.


2020Talks - November 23, 2020 


Trump campaign is running out of legal options as more states certify. *2020Talks will not be released 11/26 & 11/27*

AZ to Get Share of $425 Million in Election-Security Funds

Arizona stands to get about $8.4 million of the $425 million Congress has allocated to shore up election security ahead of the 2020 presidential vote. (Popov/AdobeStock)
Arizona stands to get about $8.4 million of the $425 million Congress has allocated to shore up election security ahead of the 2020 presidential vote. (Popov/AdobeStock)


December 20, 2019

PHOENIX, Ariz. - The 2020 federal budget deal approved by Congress this week has $425 million earmarked to strengthen election security across the country. Arizona is scheduled to get $8.4 million from the fund, but state officials say it's too early to tell how they will spend it.

The Brennan Center for Justice estimates it will take more than $2 billion over five years to bring the U.S. election system beyond the reach of foreign interference similar to what happened during the 2016 election.

Thomas Collins, director of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, says its goal is to make sure the almost four million registered voters in Arizona can get reliable information.

"The thing that all of us are focused on is ensuring that there are mechanisms in place to provide information to the public, and talk to the public about where they can find trusted information," says Collins.

The Brennan Center identifies four main election-security needs: cybersecurity support for local jurisdictions, upgrades to voter registration computer systems, replacing antiquated voting machines, and implementing post-election audits of unofficial election results.

Collins says Arizona has begun taking steps to protect its election results, at the polling station and in the counting room.

"There are steps to prevent the kinds of speculation about vote changes or vote total changes," says Collins. "Machines are air-gapped, and then the counting machines are air-gapped from the machines that upload the result. What 'air-gapping' means is, they're not going to be connected to the Internet at all."

But while other improvements are needed to strengthen ballot security in the state, Collins says the best approach is to "immunize" voters against "fake news."

"It's the person who knows where to find information about the process to vote," says Collins. "An informed voter is immune, or is building up an immunity, to the kinds of misinformation that may be out there."

The Arizona Secretary of State's office is the central authority for elections, although most are administered at the county and local level. The state's Presidential Preference election is March 17, and the General Election is November 3.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AZ