California: Los Angeles County’s New Voting System Is Still Uncertified. Why Election Security Experts Are Worried | Libby Denkman/LAist
Los Angeles County is moving full steam ahead with plans to use its new election equipment for the first time in the upcoming presidential primary. The system, which includes high-tech “ballot marking devices,” has the potential to revolutionize the election industry, creating a transparent and fully accessible way to vote. But for all its innovations, some experts in the voting security community worry it’s not ready for prime time. For starters, the state has yet to sign off on the new technology — and it’s coming down to the wire: In-person voting begins in six weeks, on Feb. 22.
Certification testing has uncovered:
- Dozens of critical user interface and security problems, according to recent published reports and conversations with experts.
- The Secretary of State found vulnerabilities that left the door open to bad actors changing voting data and, ultimately, the outcome of an election.
- Testers could also access and alter electronic records and get into physical ballot boxes — all without detection.
Some candidates for local offices are so disturbed by how ballots appear on the machines that cities like Beverly Hills are exploring lawsuits. But Dean Logan, the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder, says his office has worked hard to address and mitigate all concerns. The issues with the actual voting system come at the same time L.A. County is fundamentally changing not just how but where people vote. Many observers are concerned that shift in voting location alone will lead to widespread confusion.