Requests for absentee ballots are on the rise ahead of the November election — the first general contest since learning of Russian efforts to access voting systems, including those right here in the Washington area. But critics, including a host of computer security experts, say a system designed to make voting easier also makes it more of a target for hackers intending to interfere in U.S. elections. Maryland officials, however, argue those concerns are hypothetical and say they’ve put the necessary safeguards in place. At issue is Maryland’s online ballot delivery system, which allows any voter to request and download an absentee ballot from the internet. Maryland doesn’t allow residents to vote online, so users of this system must mail in their ballots.’
… Mary Kiraly, a former member of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, said that as a military wife, she knows how important electronic ballot delivery is for service members, overseas civilians or the disabled. But she also said, “When we open it up to every voter, then it becomes a huge target and the concern grows exponentially.”
George Washington University professor Poorvi Vora agrees. She’s among the computer security experts who have repeatedly warned the state elections board and legislators that Maryland is “one of the most vulnerable states in the U.S. for major election tampering.” This year, she testified in support of a bill in the Maryland General Assembly that would have limited the access to military, overseas voters and the disabled, but it failed to advance.