The 2018 Midterms Are On, But How Secure Is Your Vote? | NowThis

August 14, 2019 posted by


What I need you to do is to give me
your legal signature on that line by the X please. The midterms are on and they are all about who will control
Congress come November as well as the preliminary tests of the Republicans’
ability to hold the White House in 2020 and what ballot type would we like today? Ohio is a key swing state in both contests. Most voters have issues that
are important to them when they go to the polls but it’s less common for
voters to think about the equipment they vote on. Do you know the name of the
voting machine that you voted on? I don’t Do you ever think about it? Like, what type
of machine you’re voting on? Truthfully, no. Not really. Voting machines around the country are
reaching the end of their lifespan and Ohio is no different. There’s 73 counties
or so that mostly functioning with the equipment that they bought around 2005-2006 That’s old. It’s old as we like to say
that technology came out before iPhone 1 did so we’re definitely in need of a
refresh. In addition to being old many of the machines in use in Ohio have serious security risks In Licking County they’re voting on the AccuVote-TSX, a machine that has been hacked on film, on national television– The computer virus went and
switched the votes inside the computer. and recently at the DEF CON hacking
conference last July. I think we would eventually be able to
manipulate the votes. Somebody with more experience could
probably do this in about a week. So we can reset the board and maybe
reflash BIOS at that point. Voting machine vendors and election officials point out the machines have all been certified, however Ohio’s entire fleet of voting
machines was tested in a 2007 comprehensive security study called the
Everest Report and the security came up short. The report is blunt. It states Although the report was released in 2007,
not a single voting machine was decertified afterward. After the Everest
Report came out I don’t believe any system was decertified in the state of
Ohio. The systems that are in use now and at least 73 or 74 counties are the same. One other thing that I need you to do is indicate for any preference. Lisa, a voter from Franklin County voted in the May 8th primary on one of Ohio’s machines called the iVotronic. The machine has multiple security flaws
but the most devastating type of attack could come by installing a virus in
what’s known as the PEB or personal electronic ballot. A small box that
controls the entire election. Many poll workers handle the PEBs,
not all are aware of their importance. Do they have the results on them? I’m not sure if they do or not. Those yellow cards have the results from each machine. Any poll worker, even a single
voter could change the results of the election by installing a virus on one of
the PEBs or switching it out with one that has malware on it. Hackers at DEF CON
showed me how easy this is to do. Look, I mean how does espionage work. You can take the hard method of looking
at a device and trying to hack it or you just pay somebody 50 bucks to kiss someone on the cheek, grab the device, swap it out with yours,
right? I mean these things are hard to find, but it’s not impossible. It’s not to say you can’t find this on eBay. That’s how they got all this. At the end of the election
poll workers take the same PEB from machine to machine downloading the
results. This makes it quick and easy for a virus to spread. The PEB with the
results is then taken to county headquarters. Once there it can install
the virus on the central election management system. Now that corrupted
central system can program all the voting machines in the county in
subsequent elections. It makes me nauseous. ES&S, the manufacturer of the iVotronic was asked for comment but did not respond. Once on the machine, the virus is able to change votes for candidates as voters make their selections. Election officials say the
process is more secure because there is a paper trail attached to the machine
where voters can check that their selections have been recorded accurately
but studies have shown that most voters do not check the paper trail. Did you have a piece of paper at the end that showed you who you had voted for? No. It shows it on screen. It’s not an actual piece of paper. And at one polling
station the printed paper was actually covered so voters could not see it even
when they looked. Were you able to see the paper at all? No. It gives you an option to print it says
at the end but nothing actually comes up. Have you ever tried? I did. In either case it takes the virus less than four seconds to change the
vote on the printed paper as well. According to verified voting, 17 states
are using the AccuVote-TSX and the iVotronic is in use in 16 including
the swing states of Florida and Pennsylvania. One of the reasons I’m
passionate about elections is because I’ve been to places where people don’t
have the right to vote. State Senator Frank LaRose, the
Republican candidate for Secretary of State, has introduced a bill to fund new
voting machines for Ohio that could improve security depending on what type
of machines the counties purchase because voting equipment is expected to
last for a decade or more Ohio families and businesses could be
impacted by this decision for years to come. Professor Duncan Buell has spent
over a decade researching election security. I’m Duncan Buell. I teach computer
science at the University of South Carolina. Some voters were skeptical about paper, I like the machine. To me things can
happen to a piece of paper. But most of the voters I spoke with expressed a preference to mark the ballot themselves
on paper. Would you feel more comfortable if there
was a paper ballot? I would. I would prefer to have a paper ballot where I’m making marks on a ballot personally. Just like we do if we’re taking a test, you know, you mark your own boxes. Funding for new voting equipment has already passed the Senate but still needs to get
through the House. Currently there are no requirements for voter mark paper
ballots in the legislation and one machine that is under consideration
includes barcodes on its ballots something security experts say could be
a problem. Rich Demello, an election security
specialist at Georgia Institute of Technology says an attacker could insert
malicious code in barcode readers or writers allowing votes to be counted for
a different candidate than was intended. I’m familiar with the barcode system. I
think that the hand marked paper ballot system is much preferable. Ohio State Representative Kathleen Clyde is running against LaRose for Secretary of State.
The Secretary of State is the chief election officer so whoever wins that
office ultimately will be responsible for improving Ohio’s election security. When it comes to what kind of voting machines are available in Ohio
certainly it’s up to the vendor to initiate the process for certification. Like any private company vendors need to make sales decisions based on profit.
The touchscreen barcode machine that is being marketed aggressively to Ohio and
other states is estimated to be at least three times as expensive as an optical
scan voting system and election security experts say it is less secure. With
public pressure it’s possible that an amendment could be added to the proposed
legislation requiring hand marked paper ballots cybersecurity guidance and
prohibiting the use of barcodes on ballots. Senator LaRose was unable to
meet with me for an interview but Clyde has introduced her own legislation to
make sure Ohio’s elections are secure and accurate. My legislation would
require paper ballot system. Her current proposal would permit barcodes but she
says she’s willing to take that under consideration. I would be open to requiring a hand marked paper ballot system in Ohio. I think that’s the
most secure system and as long as we’re able to accommodate voters with
disabilities I think that would be the thing for us to move to.

5 Comments

5 Replies to “The 2018 Midterms Are On, But How Secure Is Your Vote? | NowThis”

  1. Abdul-Rahman Washington says:

    Is the person speaking a robot ?

  2. Pepins Spot says:

    Wonderful, create more distrust in the system.

  3. Raoul Sombrero says:

    The BEST METHOD is Paper Ballots compiled electronically for the easiest tallying. AND results must be published locally. SO, if local residents dispute their own election results within their own voting precincts a referendum is called and volunteers return to hand count paper ballots. "Media" is the oversight committee for elections. Government institutions cannot be trusted.,

  4. the Herminator Roxy says:

    Why can't we go to the paper ballots.! Many people that I've talked to are voting for Trump there's no way the Democrats should even come close

  5. the Herminator Roxy says:

    I live in New Jersey I want a paper ballot I do not want a electronic machine.! I got a feeling this election on the midterm is going to be set up for the Democrats.! They've been sitting back waiting this is why the machines are not brought up to date period until after the election then Congress will pass it bulshit

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