State election officials are making plans to tighten security all along the voting chain – from voter registration to machine integrity, audit trails and help from the Department of Homeland Security under the new critical infrastructure designation. At a Feb. 13-14 meeting of the Election Assistance Commission, New Jersey State Department’s division of elections Bob Giles said that although his state’s voting machines are not connected to the internet, the attention garnered by Russia’s reported electoral influence has led to a rethinking of his agency’s cybersecurity protocols. Giles said cyber hygiene practices such as improving password strength and multifactor authentication will be included in the state’s plan to modernize its voter registration system. “The other thing we heard a lot about this election is who is making our voting machines,” he said, adding that moving forward, New Jersey will partner with the DHS to ensure voting machine security.
Another important tool for establishing electoral integrity is an auditable record of each state’s votes.
David Wagner, a member of EAC’s Technical Guidelines Development Committee, said that “the number one most important thing we can do for cybersecurity is make sure the systems are auditable.” He conceded election auditing “can’t prove that there was no hacking, but what it can prove is that the outcome was called correctly” and that there are no patterns of voting irregularity.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has lobbied for auditable paper records in all 50 states — warning that “voting machines, especially those that have digital components, are intrinsically susceptible to being hacked.” Several states’ election systems lack any sort of paper trail.
Full Article: Locking down voting tech — GCN.