More than one hundred security researchers and experts signed on to a letter sent to member of the United States Congress to warn of their belief that not enough has been done to protect against potential threats to state and federal elections. The letter, published Wednesday as a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, argues many states are unprepared to respond to cybersecurity risks that may arise during upcoming election.The signatories laid out three primary suggestions for securing the electoral process and prevent against any potential tampering that may occur. First, the experts called on election officials to establish voter-verified paper ballots as the “official record of voter intent.” Doing so would require phasing out paperless voting machines that offer no way to verify if a vote tallied by the system corresponds to the vote intended to be cast by the voter.
Additionally, the researchers who signed on to the letter hope to see the implementation of cyber safeguards to protect against internet-related security vulnerabilities. Included in the recommendations were the creation of firewalls between voter registration, ballot delivery and election management systems.
…Finally, the security experts asked for federal elections to require a robust audit upon completion before the results are certified. The proposed review would require a comparison of random voting system samples compared to hand counts of the votes and public oversight for all audits—including publishing the results of the audits in detail.