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Georgia's election day mess

"Messy." "Debacle. <a href="https://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/19/?tfp_page=4&tfp_id=GA_AJC">"Complete meltdown."</a> Those are just a few terms being used to describe Georgia's primary yesterday, in which the state's new $104 million stockpile of voting machines made its debut, only quickly break down and cause hours-long lines for tens of thousands of voters. Many of the new machines, which combine a touchscreen interface with a paper record that is counted by an optical scanner, failed to operate properly when polls opened, while electronic poll books used to check in voters failed to load, lengthening the wait to vote on a hot day against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. “They got the most expensive Rube Goldberg system they could find, shoved it down the throat of the counties," said Marilyn Marks of the Coalition for Good Governance, a nonprofit group that advocates for all-paper elections. Benjamin Freed reports.

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David Cagigal steps down in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Chief Information Officer David Cagigal said Tuesday he plans to step down from his position June 19 after nearly eight years with the state government. Cagigal, who was appointed as CIO in late 2012 by then-Gov. Scott Walker, is one of the longest-tenured state IT leaders in the country. “It’s time. After nearly eight years, it’s time for me to move on and end my service as the Chief Information Officer for the State for Wisconsin on June 19," he wrote in a memo to his agency. Cagigal was also one of the few state CIOs to survive the Democratic wave of 2018, when now-Gov. Tony Evers defeated the Republican Walker, but kept Cagigal in place. Ben has more.

How data is guiding cities' digital census strategies

Just a week after the U.S. Census Bureau kicked off the 2020 response period on March 12, the spread of the coronavirus forced the bureau to suspend in-person field operations for more than 50 days. But some cities, like Long Beach, California, which had planned to use in-person rallies and meetings to encourage residents to fill out the census, switched to a digital-first outreach strategy. In Long Beach, officials worked with ZenCity, an Israeli data-analysis firm helps cities collect public sentiment on various issues through the analysis of social media posts. “Part of our implementation plan was to do a lot of in-person events, we were really excited to start our training,” said Joy Contreras, a management assistant with Long Beach. "But the pandemic has forced us to increase our digital outreach by tenfold.”   Ryan Johnston reports.

Knight Foundation funds seven civic data projects

Five cities across the U.S. will share a $1 million prize from the nonprofit Knight Foundation to expand public data-analysis programs in urban planning, including initiatives that take advantage of virtual reality tools, real-time air quality sensors and video games about civic development. The projects announced Wednesday — in cities including Philadelphia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and San Jose, California — are the latest municipal grants awarded by the Knight Foundation, which has invested heavily in “smart city” development by funding data analysis programs in dozens of cities over the last five years. Ryan has details.


A look at how state and local government took the workforce remote

The coronavirus pandemic presented government and universities with a challenge — move most of your employees to a telework environment in a matter of days. Now, as the pandemic continues, those same entities need to make decisions on what the future holds and whether their workforces can return to the office like normal. In this report, StateScoop and EdScoop reporters explore how government agencies have maintained resiliency, highlight CIO takeaways from the pandemic and look at how governments and universities will move forward. See the full report.

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