A new online ballot system and marking tool could weaken Maryland’s voting security and make it the most vulnerable state in the nation, according to some cybersecurity experts. On Sept. 14, the Maryland State Board of Elections voted 4-1 to certify a new voting system and marking tool for online ballots. The new system will allow all Maryland voters the ability to both make selections on a computer and print absentee ballots from home, and send them into the State Board of Elections. Nikki Charlson, the deputy state administrator of the Board of Elections, said the system and tool are as secure as possible. “We are following all of the best practices for IT systems,” she said. Experts in cybersecurity and computer science have publicly stated they believe the potential risks with the new method of voting outweigh the benefits.
… Poorvi L. Vora, a professor of computer science at The George Washington University, said the security reviews are not definitive. “You can do a test and not find anything wrong,” she said. “That does not mean it is secure.”
… According to Barbara Simons, the chair of the Board of Directors of Verified Voting, Maryland is particularly vulnerable to voter fraud.
Simons, one of the computer scientists who opposing the use of the online voting system and marking tool, said Maryland has three main security risks: no signature check of mail-in ballots is conducted; any citizen can request an absentee ballot without excuse; and an absentee ballot can be obtained and marked online. “This combination of factors makes the Maryland absentee voter system the most insecure in the country,” she said.