As details emerge of the Russian campaign to influence the 2016 election, officials in Maryland are working to protect the state’s voting system for this year and beyond. State elections officials are working with federal authorities to shore up Maryland’s defenses against tampering with electronic voting systems and electoral rolls. Lawmakers have introduced proposals to fix perceived flaws, audit results more rigorously and to compel greater disclosures about advertising on social media. … Poorvi Vora, a professor of computer science at George Washington University, says Maryland is among the worst of the 50 states in securing absentee ballots. The state allows voters to request absentee ballots through its web site and mark them online before mailing them in. That function is part of the system that allows voters to register online. It’s also the system that hackers probed in August 2016. Charlson said they did not breach it.
Vora worries that hackers could use the system to request multiple absentee ballots using multiple identities.
“It would be crazy for Maryland to continue with its absentee ballot delivery after the indictment,” she said. She’s concerned that the state wouldn’t be able to distinguish between the real requests and the fake, causing chaos when voters showed up at the polls.
Vora says she and other computer scientists have repeatedly raised concerns with the State Board of Elections. “They listen to me, they ask questions, seem to understand the problems,” she said. “Then, nothing.”