A Virginia Department of Elections (DOE) report cites “serious security concerns” with certain voting equipment used during the November 2014 General Election. On Wednesday, the DOE released it’s “Interim Report on Voting Equipment Performance, Usage and Certification” that it said was conducted in response to the widespread report of voting machine irregularities during the November election. On election day, Gov. Terry McAuliffe told only 10 On Your Side that the voting machine irregularities were “unacceptable” and that he wanted an investigation. This was after the DOE confirmed technical difficulties with a number of touchscreen voting machines in Virginia Beach and Newport News. Other areas reported irregularities, including Spotsylvania and Henrico counties.
In response, the State Board of Elections began what it said is the first comprehensive review of voting equipment in the Commonwealth. The DOE said it has not finished the statewide review of equipment, but the findings of auditors in Spotsylvania, Henrico and Virginia Beach were so serious, they released the interim report immediately.
The DOE’s report says the security concerns have to do with the wireless capability of WinVote voting equipment — basically that it is vulnerable to a local or remote cyberattack.
In fact, an auditor in Spotsylvania County was able to use his smartphone to access the wireless network hosted by the WinVote touchscreen voting machines. After that, Virginia State Police were called to investigate the potential of a “breach of a technology system” at a precinct in Spotsylvania. That investigation is still underway.