301-571-5040    Get SUPPORT

Washington Works Blog

Is Election Technology Solid or Simply Antiquated

Is Election Technology Solid or Simply Antiquated

Election Day in the United States is coming up quick on November 6th. It doesn’t matter what your thoughts or opinions on U.S. politics are--the fact remains that millions of Americans will be using the technology available at polling places to cast their ballots, and if this technology isn’t secured properly, the integrity of the voting system will be at risk.

Technology Found at Most Polling Places
Most polling places in America are using technology that is quickly approaching 15 years old. To put that in perspective, let’s think about some technologies and products today that haven’t even reached ten years old yet.

  • Google Chrome
  • Airbnb
  • Spotify
  • Kickstarter
  • 4G
  • Mobile GPS
  • Instagram
  • The iPad

A co-founder of a nonprofit group called Open Source Election Technology, Greg Miller, has this to say about election technology: ”You have equipment that was introduced in 2005. In that time frame, how many times have you changed your mobile phone? And how many times have we replaced our laptops?” In essence, Miller describes election technology as “...obsolete hardware [and] software that relies on a diet of spare parts.”

The other co-founder of OSET, John Sebes, takes a different approach by showing just how vulnerable the systems are to manipulation. Most polling places have a portable media device, like a CD or USB drive, that must be used to transport the results to another location for the tally. The machines that count the votes are usually outdated in terms of both hardware and software. Sebes initiated a live demonstration for a national news network to show how he could influence the results of an election between two fictional candidates named Thorfer and Varda. Thorfer won with 3,000 votes while Varda received only 100, yet Sebes was able to use malware to switch the tallies around, creating a fraudulent winner. While some computers used for this purpose are secured, others are not so much.

Furthermore, there is some inconsistency in regard to whether or not polling places keep a paper backup of the vote in the event a recount is needed. This includes some of the “battleground” or “swing” states where small numbers of votes can sway the final outcome much more than in other states.

How to Minimize the Issue
The easiest way to resolve this problem is one that is just impossible to pull off. The United States Constitution specifies that each state is responsible for maintaining its own set of electoral procedures, meaning that any attempts at consistency will be made impossible. There are other ways to make progress regarding election system security, even if some of them are more low-tech than anything else.

Temporarily Cease Online Voting
Some states allow online voting for those who are abroad or are unable to make it to the polling place for whatever reason. Some even allow for email ballots. Unfortunately, security for these methods is subpar to say the least, and it should be suspended until it can be secured properly.

Use Physical Backups
Ordinarily, we would suggest that all backups be saved to the cloud. In this case, we’re dealing with something a bit different, as digital assets can be hacked. A physically-generated paper backup of the voting records is less susceptible to being tampered with, and it allows for cross-checking any results.

Invest in Improved Voting Equipment
Since the devices used in the voting process are over a decade old, it’s clear that updating this infrastructure is not a priority. Some have suggested that Congress get involved to expedite the process, creating funding opportunities to improve machines and replace older devices, but this hasn’t happened since 2002.

What are your thoughts on the current state of election technology? Let us know in the comments.

Emerging Technologies to Keep an Eye On
Just How Important Is the Data Recovery Process?
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Monday, January 21 2019
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Tag Cloud

Security Tip of the Week Technology Best Practices Business Computing Cloud Privacy Malware Hackers Productivity Network Security Business Software Email Tech Term Hosted Solutions Internet Data Backup Mobile Devices Computer Data Managed IT Services Backup Ransomware IT Support Data Recovery User Tips Google Microsoft Productivity Efficiency Cloud Computing Outsourced IT Innovation Hardware Small Business Managed Service Provider IT Services Smartphone Business Continuity Workplace Tips Encryption Business Management Social Media Paperless Office Android Managed IT Services Browser Office 365 Data Management Save Money Smartphones Windows 10 Windows 10 Collaboration Remote Monitoring Communication Server Disaster Recovery Bandwidth Government Holiday Employer-Employee Relationship Antivirus Scam Facebook Unified Threat Management Phishing Healthcare Vulnerability IT Management Communications Artificial Intelligence Cybersecurity App BDR BYOD VoIP Wi-Fi Internet of Things Infrastructure Tip of the week Work/Life Balance Passwords Chromebook Blockchain Information Apps Virtual Reality File Sharing Document Management Risk Management How To Customer Relationship Management Big Data Maintenance Quick Tips Word Windows SaaS Network Mobile Device Upgrade Saving Money Applications Chrome Hosted Solution Office Password Two-factor Authentication Compliance Politics Managed Service Money Tech Support Vendor Management Gmail Training Regulations Data loss Websites Automation Hacker Microsoft Office Storage IoT Meetings How To Alert Health VPN Botnet Website Data Security Access Control HIPAA Server Management Business Technology Automobile Samsung Electronic Medical Records Virtual Private Network Machine Learning Physical Security Twitter Identity Theft Computing Mobile Security Wireless Point of Sale Bring Your Own Device Telephone Systems Smart Technology Remote Monitoring and Management Robot Mobile Device Management G Suite Employees Recovery Social Remote Workers Firewall Company Culture Router Private Cloud Computer Care Remote Computing Downtime Patch Management Taxes Multi-Factor Security Mirgation Web Server Geography Instant Messaging Connectivity Office Tips Tracking User Error Disaster Heating/Cooling Search Managing Stress Help Desk IBM Managed IT Service Modem Error Upgrades Fleet Tracking Processors Operating System Time Management Printing Digital Payment Electronic Health Records The Internet of Things Specifications IT Consultant Backup and Disaster Recovery Computing Infrastructure Value Google Calendar Cameras High-Speed Internet Finance Gadgets Budget Permissions Networking Professional Services Monitoring Printer Wearable Technology Uninterrupted Power Supply Servers Enterprise Content Management Bookmarks Break Fix Cookies Staffing Asset Tracking Tech Terms Network Management Remote Worker Cybercrime Management Cyberattacks Black Friday Social Networking YouTube Cortana MSP Black Market Human Error Alerts USB Consulting Crowdsourcing Legislation Chatbots Managed IT Law Enforcement CCTV Development Emoji Authentication Users Fraud Star Wars Administrator Webcam Unified Communications Favorites Customer Service Dark Web Nanotechnology Analytics OneNote Theft IT Support Touchscreen ROI Enterprise Resource Planning Files Cyber Monday Motherboard Settings Education Proactive Permission Licensing Financial Dongle Personal Information Managed Services Provider Mouse Identity Corporate Profile Outlook Gadget Cables Authorization Cost Management Google Drive SharePoint Solid State Drive Statistics Update Project Management Spam Microsoft Excel Screen Reader Lenovo WiFi Employee-Employer Relationship Cooperation Cabling Travel Mobile Legal Read Only Digital Mail Merge Relocation Cleaning Test Techology Procurement Supercomputer Service Level Agreement E-Commerce Tablet WannaCry Shortcut Wires Hotspot Assessment VoIP Downloads IT Technicians Hard Disk Drive Bluetooth Vulnerabilities Conferencing Smart Tech Firefox Superfish GPS Notifications Unified Threat Management Staff Motion Sickness Sports Distributed Denial of Service Spyware Address IT Solutions WPA3 RMM Avoiding Downtime Security Cameras IT Budget Utility Computing Computer Repair Features Comparison Augmented Reality Monitors Virtualization Zero-Day Threat Language Internet Exlporer Wireless Technology 5G Hard Drives Safety CrashOverride Regulation Marketing Competition Emergency IP Address Miscellaneous Mobile Office Domains Hiring/Firing Notes Fun Public Speaking Presentation Lithium-ion battery Printers