Although California has received an “all-clear” from government agencies looking into Russian attempts to hack into voting data for states across the nation, safe today doesn’t mean safe tomorrow, a leading computer security expert warned. “The bottom line is, be nervous,” said Matt Bishop, a UC Davis computer science professor who specializes in computer security. California has been pushing hard to make its voting systems more secure and more efficient since Florida’s famous “hanging chad” election of 2000. … San Francisco’s system is typical, said John Arntz, the city’s elections chief. There’s an “air gap” in the electronic voting machines and the equipment that tallies the votes, he said.
Those machines “are never connected to the Internet,” Arntz said. “The way the system is set up, if someone physically hacked into one voting machine, they couldn’t affect the other machines, because they’re not connected. And even then, they’d have to just about destroy the machine to hack in.”
California has another safeguard, which Arntz called “the ultimate fail-safe”: Since 2006, all touch-screen voting systems in the state have had to provide a paper receipt that confirms the electronic totals.