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4 Practical Measures to Improve Election Security Now
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wa3gin
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wa3gin,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/17/2018 | 6:40:00 PM
The Election Process 4 Practical Measures...
Thank You for you artilce.  

In a prior life I was the CISO of Arlington County, VA.  In that county we have a non-profit FM-LP radio station WERA that has a weekly program dedicated to Practical Cyber Security.  I have co-hosted a few programs.  

We did an in-depth review of the voting process in the State of Virginia and those three 30 min programs are ON-DEMAND on MIX-CLOUD or you can go to www.practicalsecurityradio.com to get links to stream the programs.  One program was dedicate to the hardware usedv and the other two were interviews with the deputy registrar of Arlington. These are pure content and commercial free programs.  They are eye-openers for people who are clueless about how the wheels turn in local and state government elections! I'd hope you and your readers will listen to these programs to get a fair and accurate view of how the process actually works.

The DEFCON spin about hacking the laptops is not helpful. Those were surplused PCs no longer used and for hackers to gain access to the actual PCs used they would have to crash through the school gym walls where the voters were standing in line to gain access.  

On Voting Day, during the voting process those PCs are basically just tabulators, counting votes. The totals at the voting booths at the gym are called into the registrar's office, the PCs are never connected to the Internet.  The Registrar collects the totals and phones those into the State.  At no time do these PCs touch the Internet during the election process.

Sadly, it is valid that State databases can be hacked and data currupted. But that doesn't ruin the election because if you and I have our names removed  or currupted we can always use  a written form to cast our vote and it will be counted.  This is called a provisional vote. I used one last year because I moved from one city to a county.

Now it is true that the State databases are not 100% accurate and this occurs due to the nature of the process; because people move from state to state.  There is no fool-proof process to track constituent movement between states.  If you leave California and settle in UTAH. Then register in UTAH, you can vote in UTAH however your name is still in the California database.  Some states have a check-box at the bottom of voter registration forms that allow you to say what state you left.  If you check that box your current state will notify the state you left... however, this process is not provisioned across all the states.  If you are in the military for example you could very well be in several state databases, however, you can only realistically vote in the state where you are currently a resident.  I suppose if you had three addresses in three states whose boundaries were within driving distance you could drive to all three and try to vote if you maintained those addresses in your name and paid taxes, etc.... so your two extra votes would not come close to effecting the national election!

I would add a fifth measure to your four, that being all states require registrants to indicate what state they left. At least that way the politicians can't claim there are thousands of people registered in multiple places, etc.

Thanks again for the article.

 

 

 


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