In March, Hawaii Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard introduced the Securing America’s Elections Act to require the use of paper ballots as backup in case of alleged election hacking. Now voting advocates are suing Georgia to do the same thing. Some voting systems are so easy to hack a child can do it. Eleven year old Emmett Brewer hacked into a simulation of Florida’s state voting website in less than 10 minutes at the DefCon hacking conference last week in Las Vegas, according to Time. Of the approximately 50 children age 8 to 17 who took part in the Election Voting Hacking Village at DefCon, 30 were able to hack into imitation election websites within three hours, Time reported. The kids were able to rewrite vote tallies so that they totaled as much as 12 billion, and change the names of parties and candidates, according to the Guardian.
The National Association of Secretaries of State released a statement saying that the pseudo environments used in the simulation are not realistic enough to raise an issue, and that the voting machines they emulated are no longer in use.
“Providing conference attendees with unlimited physical access to voting machines, most of which are no longer in use, does not replicate accurate physical and cyber protections established by state and local governments before and on Election Day,” the NASS said. “It would be extremely difficult to replicate these systems since many states utilize unique networks and custom-built databases with new and updated security protocols.”
But Jake Braun, an organizer of the Election Voting Hacking Village at DefCon and a former national deputy field director on President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign who later served in the White House, said it’s possible for hackers to access the machines physically or over the internet. “It’s not like these machines are kept in Fort Knox,” he told CNN.