A commission studying voting machine vulnerabilities in Pennsylvania released an interim report on Tuesday that recommends the state and federal governments help counties purchase more secure machines in time for elections in 2019. “The vast majority of Pennsylvania’s voting machines are vulnerable to electronic manipulation and have no paper backups to ensure the integrity of elections,” David Hickton, director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security, and a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh, said in a statement. Hickton and Grove City College President Paul McNulty assembled the Blue Ribbon Commission on Pennsylvania’s Election Security earlier this year to, according to the statement, “assess the cybersecurity of Pennsylvania’s election architecture, including voting machines and back-end systems, registration systems and resiliency and recovery in the instance of a cyberattack.”
The effort was supported by the Heinz Endowments and the Pittsburgh Foundation’s Charles H. Spang Fund. A full report is expected to be released early next year.
For now, the commission suggested the state and federal government share in the estimated cost of $125 million to replace vulnerable voting machines that do not offer voter-verifiable paper audits by the time the November 2019 elections arrive.