The Chicago elections board can’t guarantee the integrity of voting results in the event of a natural disaster or cyberattack, the city’s watchdog warned Tuesday in a highly critical report of the agency’s operations. The wide-ranging audit by Inspector General Joseph Ferguson also concluded that the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners does not post many job openings and has not conducted employee performance reviews in a at least 10 years. Ferguson said the board was warned a decade ago about many of the financial problems he’s uncovered and failed to correct them. It’s the technological vulnerabilities, however, that the inspector general’s office found that could attract the most public attention. Governments have become increasingly concerned about computer hacks and the possibility of meddling in elections.
In the 2016 presidential race, Russians hacked into the Illinois State Board of Elections voter registration database, and compromised the names, addresses, birth dates and partial Social Security numbers of about 76,000 voters, federal authorities and election officials have said.
In Chicago, Ferguson found that the elections board does not have an emergency plan in place, has not inventoried its computer hardware and software, and has not conducted any audits or risk assessments during the past dozen years, leaving the outcome of city elections vulnerable to a computer hack or other catastrophe. He said the lack of a list of computer items could impede the election board’s ability to recover from disruptions.
Full Article: Audit: Chicago Elections Board Not Ready for a Cyberattack.