Verified Voting in the News: Board of Elections Ends Use of Touch-Screen Voting Machines | Wall Street Journal

Election administrators in Virginia ordered the state’s remaining touch-screen electronic voting machines be taken out of service in advance of the coming statewide election, after hackers demonstrated vulnerabilities in an array of election technology at a recent security convention. Virginia, one of two states holding statewide elections for governor and state legislature this year, won’t use any touch-screen machines in the Nov. 7 general election after the State Board of Elections voted Friday to revoke the certifications on all such systems still being used in the state. Virginia will switch to paper ballots counted and processed by computerized scanners. James Alcorn, chair of the board, said in a statement the move was “necessary to ensure the integrity of Virginia’s elections.” … The decision by Virginia to stop using touch-screen electronic voting machines marks a victory for advocates who have long criticized paperless electronic voting systems as insecure and potentially vulnerable to tampering and mischief.

Virginia: Ahead of November Election, Virginia Scraps Use of ‘Hackable’ Voting Machines | WVTF

With only two months until election day, officials in Virginia have decided fully-electronic voting machines aren’t safe. Amid growing cyber-security threats, the Board of Elections is forcing localities to stop using the of the touch screen machines that leave no paper trail. … Alex Blakemore with Virginia Verified Voting has long advocated for the machines to be decertified. While he hasn’t seen what the latest testing shows, he does remember the results of a similar security review back in 2015. “The machines were unbelievably vulnerable. They had wifi on them which, why would you want wifi on a voting machine?” Blakemore asked. “You could hack in remotely, the password was abcde.”

Virginia: Registrars work to replace decertified voting machines across Virginia | WAVY

Some registrars across the commonwealth are working to acquire new, approved equipment so voters can cast ballots in less than two months. On Friday, the Department of Elections called for touchscreen voting booths to be decertified in Virginia. The State Board of Elections approved the request. The touchscreen method is being phased out because of concerns of hacking. “Our No. 1 priority is to make sure that Virginia elections are carried out in a secure and fair manner,” James Alcorn, Chair of the State Board of Elections, said in a release. “The step we took [Friday] to decertify paperless voting systems is necessary to ensure the integrity of Virginia’s elections.” Touchscreens were previously set to go away in 2020.

Verified Voting in the News: Board of Elections halts use of voting machines considered vulnerable to hacking | Reuters

Virginia on Friday agreed to stop using paperless touchscreen voting machines that had been flagged by cyber security experts as potentially vulnerable to hackers and lacking sufficient vote auditing capabilities. The action represented one of the most concrete steps taken by a U.S. state to bolster the cyber security of election systems since the 2016 presidential race, when U.S. intelligence agencies say Russia waged a digital influence campaign to help President Donald Trump win. Virginia’s board of elections voted to accept a recommendation from its state election director, Edgardo Cortes, to decertify so-called direct-recording electronic machines, which count votes digitally and do not produce paper trails that can be checked against a final result.

Virginia: Virginia Is Getting Rid of Its Vulnerable Voting Machines | Gizmodo

Virginia’s Board of Elections voted unanimously to decertify all of the state’s touchscreen voting machines, which are considered by cybersecurity experts to be vulnerable to manipulation by hackers. The race is now on to replace the machines, which are used in 22 counties, before Virginia’s elections in November. Industry experts and and the state’s elections department have recommended that the touchscreen machines be replaced with ones that record votes on paper instead of only electronically, so the votes can be audited and verified.

Virginia: Board of Elections bans touch-screen voting machines over hacking concerns | Associated Press

The Virginia State Board of Elections voted Friday to ban use of touch-screen voting machines in November’s closely watched gubernatorial contest, over concerns the equipment can be hacked. The three-person board voted unanimously at a hastily arranged meeting to decertify touch-screen voting machines, which are still used by counties and cities around the state. The vote came after a closed-door briefing on potential vulnerabilities to the touch-screen systems. “It was enlightening, to say the least,” said board member Clara Belle Wheeler, who said she had originally intended not vote for decertification because of the closeness to the Nov. 7 elections.

Virginia: In emergency meeting, Virginia elections board votes to scrap all touch-screen voting machines | Richmond Times-Dispatch

The Virginia State Board of Elections voted Friday to discontinue use of all touch-screen voting machines throughout the state because of potential security vulnerabilities, forcing 22 cities and counties to scramble to find new equipment just weeks before voting begins for the November gubernatorial election. Behind closed doors at an emergency meeting in Richmond on Friday afternoon, the board heard about specific vulnerabilities identified after a cybersecurity conference this summer in Las Vegas, where hackers showed they could break into voting machines with relative ease. After the July Defcon conference, Virginia’s Department of Elections asked the state’s IT agency to review the security of touch screens still in use in the state. Details of that review were kept confidential, but they caused the elections board to speed up the end of touch screens, which were already scheduled to be phased out of Virginia elections by 2020.