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Electronic Voting Machines Vulnerable as Hacking Incidents Surge

Image: Electronic Voting Machines Vulnerable as Hacking Incidents Surge

(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 02 Aug 2016 08:27 PM

With increased cyber-hostilities between the America and Russia, the security of the nation's outdated electronic voting machines are coming under closer scrutiny, Wired reports.

"People weren’t thinking about voting system security or all the additional challenges that come with electronic voting systems" when they came into wider use after 2002, Lawrence Norden of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University's School of Law tells Wired.

The Center's September 2015 report, posted by Wired, found that nearly every state is using electronic touchscreen and optical-scan voting systems that are at least a decade old.

"Moving to electronic voting systems solved a lot of problems, but created a lot of new ones," he said, adding: "When people think that people think about doing something major to impact our election results at the voting machine, they think they’d try to switch results" with software tampering.

"But you can do a lot less than that and do a lot of damage… If you have machines not working, or working slowly, that could create lots of problems too, preventing people from voting at all," he said.

Those problems aren't being addressed both because of a lack of money and political will, Wired reports.

"The money’s not there right now," Norden tells Wired. "We interviewed election officials who told us what they were hearing from their state legislators and others who would be funding this type of equipment, and they say come back to us after there’s some kind of crisis."

However, the three states that'll likely decide the November election—Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania—have voting machines in relatively good shape, Wired reports.

Florida has an audit requirement in place, while Ohio not only conducts audits, but has an "automatic recount provision" in which close races trigger a manual recount, Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting, which promotes best practices, tells Wired.

"Pennsylvania is of the most concern, based on the fact they have so many paperless [direct recording electronic machines] in use."

One expert dismisses worries about Russia hacking into electronic voting machines, as it allegedly did with the email system of the Democratic National Committee.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin is " not very nice, but he’s not stupid," Ryan Maness, a visiting fellow at Northeastern University who specializes in international cyber conflict and Russian foreign policy, tells Wired.

"If they were going to mess with the voting machines and the vote-counting software, they wouldn’t have done the DNC hack."

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With increased cyber-hostilities between the America and Russia, the security of the nation's outdated electronic voting machines are coming under closer scrutiny, Wired reports.
electronic, voting, machines, hacking, threat
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2016-27-02
Tuesday, 02 Aug 2016 08:27 PM
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