Many experts on election security say the key to more secure ballots is to move away from electronic voting machines toward models that produce paper records of votes. But it takes more than just that, a former federal cybersecurity strategist said Wednesday at a conference for city and county officials. Mike Garcia, now a consultant with the Center for Internet Security, told the group of about 40 that attempts to undermine the U.S. electoral process are going to target more than just ballot boxes. “Voting machines aren’t the only place you can undermine the election process,” Garcia said at the Public Technology Institute event in Washington. “Adversaries are going to find weaknesses anywhere.”
… Even with ballot security in greater focus ahead of this year’s elections and the 2020 presidential race, though, Garcia said the local officials who oversee voting are still outmatched.
“We have nation-state-level adversaries, but decentralized elections, so we don’t have nation-state-level responses,” Garcia said.
While the federal Election Assistance Commission plans to distribute $380 million to help states strengthen their voting systems’ integrity, Garcia said there are a number of other measures local governments can take. By his count, there are more than 8,000 jurisdictions around the country that administer elections, and many of them lack the resources to develop robust cyberdefenses.