A report issued last month by some of the country’s leading election security experts found that voting machines used in dozens of states remain vulnerable to hacks and manipulations. The report warned that that without continued efforts to increase funding, upgrade technology, and adopt of voter-marked paper ballot systems, “we fear that the 2020 presidential elections will realize the worst fears only hinted at during the 2016 elections: insecure, attacked, and ultimately distrusted.”1
The report urges election officials to use machines relying on voter-marked paper ballots and pair those with “statistically rigorous post-election audits” to verify the outcome of elections reflects the will of voters. The authors also warn that supply chain issues “continue to pose significant security risks,”1 including cases where machines include hardware components of foreign origin, or where election administrators deploy foreign-based software, cloud, or other remote services. The report lands as officials in several states are working to upgrade election equipment, and as lawmakers in Washington, D.C. debate federal election security legislation and funding.
Ultimately, the report notes flaws that have been acknowledged for years.
“As disturbing as this outcome is, we note that it is at this point an unsurprising result,” the authors conclude. “However, it is notable—and especially disappointing—that many of the specific vulnerabilities reported over a decade earlier…are still present in these systems today.”1