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02/10/2020
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WorkScoop

Better than MNLARS (so far)

Nine months after they scrapped a decade’s worth of work on a failed vehicle licensing and registration system, Minnesota lawmakers got a chance on Thursday to see that development of the replacement, so far, appears to be advancing smoothly. But state auditors say they have already identified some minor threats to the project’s success. The Minnesota Licensing and Registration System, also known as MNLARS, cost the state $100 million and countless hours in lost sleep and withering audits. The replacement, which is being built with off-the-shelf software, is developing more smoothly, auditors said last week, but there are some "minor concerns" emerging, including whether the state's self-imposed deadline of fall 2021 is too aggressive and the "risky area" of migrating MNLARS data to the new system — to say nothing of the Oct. 1 deadline for implementing federally mandated Real ID requirements on state-issued identification cards. Colin Wood reports.


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At least it's not the Iowa app

Voatz, the company behind a mobile app that's been used by several jurisdictions to collect ballots from overseas voters in recent elections, said a letter that Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., sent to officials in his home state asking them to reconsider using Voatz this year "increases the fear of technology." Wyden, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee who has previously been skeptical of Voatz, wrote to Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno last week with his misgivings with two counties' plans to offer Voatz to their deployed military and overseas voters. In a statement obtained by StateScoop late Friday, Voatz accused the senator of stoking fear about its technology: "It is our humble opinion that efforts to shut down these pilots are aimed at locking our elections infrastructure in a loop of exclusion, paranoia and fear — the very sentiments that tear down our elections infrastructure and thwart the efforts toward election resilience and trust," the statement read. Benjamin Freed reports.


Uber's AVs are back in California

California will allow Uber to test-drive its autonomous vehicles with a person in the driver's seat for the first time since a self-driving car using the ride-hailing company's self-driving technology struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona in 2018. Uber will join 65 other companies permitted to test self-driving cars on California state roads, though its vehicles will not be allowed to pick up or drop passengers. Uber officials said they plan to resume testing in San Francisco, where the company is headquartered, but didn’t say when specifically the cars would be rolled out. Ryan Johnston has the details.


Delaware's new 'chief of partner services' role signals IT progress

The Delaware Department of Technology and Information announced last month that longtime state administrator Justin Day had been promoted to serve as its chief of partner services. Day, who’s been with the state two decades and spent the past four years as its director of data center and IT operations, is taking a role newly created as Delaware attempts to enter a new phase of IT maturity. Day will head a new Office of Partner Services, leading teams focused on partner engagement, end-user services and statewide IT support. Colin has more.


Federal watchdog tells CISA to hurry up on election security strategy

The cybersecurity wing of the Department of Homeland Security must “urgently finalize” its plans to protect the 2020 presidential election, a government watchdog agency said in a new report released Thursday, CyberScoop's Jeff Stone reports. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency provides state and local election officials with federal assistance, education and information sharing about how to safeguard U.S. voting infrastructure from possible interference. Despite three years of work meant to improve security, CISA still is “not well-positioned to execute a nationwide strategy for securing election infrastructure prior to the start of the 2020 election cycle," the Government Accounting Office found. Most notably, CISA has not created clear plans to respond to a possible Election Day security incident in which state and local response capabilities were exhausted. Read more on CyberScoop.


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