Jonathan Chait

Midwest News Update

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University of Michigan students outwit computerized voting system:

It’s a win for the University of Michigan Wolverines, . . . if not for anyone else.

After election officials in Washington, D.C., egged on hackers to have a go at their new internet voting system, they did just that. The result was Michigan’s fight song “Hail to the Victors” played to voters after they cast their ballots.

Election officials were testing their new pilot voting system in advance of elections in November, but had to pull it down on Friday after the hackers seized it.

Officials initially cited “usability issues” that had been brought to their attention, but the election board’s chief technology officer later admitted to the Washington Post that “the integrity of the system had been violated.”

A Michigan professor apparently “unleashed his students” on the system to get the win for Michigan.

Meanwhile, life in Ohio continues apace:

Rats run across roads, yards in northwest Ohio

Rats are running across roads, scurrying through yards and burrowing beneath dog houses in Toledo. Local officials blame the increase in furry pests on construction work and a large number of unsold vacant properties. "This was the first summer that rat complaints outpaced noise complaints," Toledo City Councilman Tom Waniewski told The (Toledo) Blade. ...

Toledo resident Brian Vanderhorst says he's been fighting off rats trying to find a new habitat in his home since some nearby properties were razed to make room for a wider highway.

"They are all over the place," said Vanderhorst, who often wakes up to find rat droppings on the floor.

He lays traps around his home and said his dogs have caught several rodents.

Debbie Muranyi lives near the highway construction, too, and said rats have grabbed food from her dog's dish. Her husband set a spring-loaded trap with peanut butter and Cheerios and caught a rat about a foot long.

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