National: A hackable election: 5 things you need to know about e-voting machines | PCWorld

As the U.S. heads toward an especially contentious national election in November, 15 states are still clinging to outdated electronic voting machines that don’t support paper printouts used to audit their internal vote counts. E-voting machines without attached printers are still being used in a handful of presidential swing states, leading some voting security advocates to worry about the potential of a hacked election. Some makers of e-voting machines, often called direct-recording electronic machines or DREs, are now focusing on other sorts of voting technology, including optical scanners. They seem reluctant to talk about DREs; three major DRE vendors didn’t respond to questions about security. … While a hacked election may be unlikely, it’s not impossible, said Joe Kiniry, a long-time election security researcher. Researchers have found many security holes in DREs, and many states don’t conduct comprehensive election audits, said Kiniry, now CEO and chief scientist at Free and Fair, an open-source election technology vendor. “I would say that a determined adversary, with the standard skill that people like me have, would be able to hack an election nationally,” he said. “With enough money and resources, I don’t think that’s actually a technical challenge.” Voting results are “ripe for manipulation,” Kiniry added. Hacking an election would be more of a social and political challenge than a technical one, he said. “You’d have a medium-sized conspiracy in order to achieve such a goal.”