Cybersecurity specialists at the University of Pittsburgh have formed an independent panel to study ways to protect Pennsylvania’s voting system from hackers. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Pennsylvania’s Election Security includes experts, reform advocates, and present and former government officials. It met for the first time June 26. David Hickton, a former U.S. attorney and founding director of the Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security, co-chairs the panel. In an interview, he said the commission plans to examine the state’s election machinery, its voter rolls, and the system’s resiliency in the event of an attack. Hickton said the Department of Homeland Security has confirmed the state’s voter rolls were compromised by hackers in 2016.
… A bigger — or at least more expensive — problem is the vulnerability of the state’s voting machines. Nearly all of them don’t generate a paper backup of votes that can be audited.
The lack of a paper trail is one big reason the state’s voting systems earned a grade of D in a February review of election security in all 50 states by the Center for American Democracy.
Voting systems are purchased and managed by each of the state’s 67 counties, and they’re limited to vendors and systems approved by the Pennsylvania Department of State as well as the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.