With only two months until election day, officials in Virginia have decided fully-electronic voting machines aren’t safe. Amid growing cyber-security threats, the Board of Elections is forcing localities to stop using the of the touch screen machines that leave no paper trail. … Alex Blakemore with Virginia Verified Voting has long advocated for the machines to be decertified. While he hasn’t seen what the latest testing shows, he does remember the results of a similar security review back in 2015. “The machines were unbelievably vulnerable. They had wifi on them which, why would you want wifi on a voting machine?” Blakemore asked. “You could hack in remotely, the password was abcde.”
While those particular models were scrapped right away, state lawmakers gave localities until 2020 to get rid of any others. But in a surprise move Friday, the Board followed the recommendation of the commissioner and voted unanimously to immediately decertify all the machines.
That means localities that thought they had three more years to find replacements, now have two months.
Most precincts in Virginia are in the clear, they’ve already switched over to the new industry standard: paper ballots that are scanned in via an optical machine. But as of Friday, 22 localities still use the touch-screen machines that are now no longer allowed. According to the Department of Elections, nine of those localities already have plans to purchase new machines.