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A special report on the remote workforce

Since governments sent their workers home and universities closed their campuses amid the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic, working and studying from home has become the new, sometimes uncomfortable norm. And whenever the COVID-19 crisis subsides, the remote workforce will be remembered as one of the period’s hallmarks. But even before then, there are lessons to be gleaned from the rapid transition that has already begun transforming the technologies, policies and cultures of public sector workplaces. In a new special report, StateScoop and EdScoop reporters explore <a href="https://preprod.statescoop.com/remote-workforce-telework-rush-tested-states-cybersecurity-it-maturity/">how resilient government agencies have been</a> in the sudden shift in operations, whether state IT agencies were <a href="https://preprod.statescoop.com/video/remote-workforce-wasnt-delawares-plan-when-pandemic-hit/">prepared for it</a> and which schools are preparing to reopen in the fall.   See the full report.

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COVID-19 is an election security threat

The COVID-19 pandemic remains the greatest challenge to ensuring that the 2020 presidential election runs accurately and securely, election security experts said Monday during a forum hosted by the House Homeland Security Committee. Election officials, panelists said, still need much more funding and support to make all the preparations for an election that will likely have to be conducted largely via mail, especially in states that have historically low rates of postal ballots. “By far the biggest threat to our election is the coronavirus,” said Wendy Weiser of New York University's Brennan Center for Law and Justice. And the vote-by-mail push only heightens the need to protect voter registration databases, which which were prime targets for the Russian military hackers who attempted to disrupt U.S. voting systems in 2016, and may be targeted again, Weiser said. Benjamin Freed reports.

New NASCIO paper shows how CIOs can use 'four forces'

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers published a new report yesterday that encourages state officials to consider what it calls “the four forces” when attempting to advance technology initiatives. The paper demonstrates how four elements that CIOs contend with — political, market, customer and inertial — can be used to further their priorities. “A state CIO might have no control over the outcome of an election. However, that same state CIO might foresee a change in power and plan accordingly,” the report reads. Colin Wood has more.

LA cops have Zoom troubles

After days of nationwide protests against police brutality following death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department, the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners held an all-day video call on Tuesday that LAPD Chief Michel Moore called “unorganized.” The meeting, held virtually Tuesday morning over Zoom, to adhere to coronavirus pandemic safety guidelines, was initially capped at just 500 participants, including city residents or members of the media who tried to phone in. But the conference was quickly overwhelmed, forcing the commission to get an emergency upgrade to its Zoom account to accommodate everyone. Ryan Johnston has the details.

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