Reminder, Cybersecurity will never be enough

Today’s stories at The Voting News provide a reminder of current vulnerabilities:

How state election officials are contributing to weak security in 2020 | Joseph Marks/The Washington Post
Cyber firm examines supply-chain challenge in securing election ecosystem | Charlie Mitchell/InsideCyberSecurity.com
Editorials: Cyber attacks threaten security of 2020 election | Ray Rothrock/San Jose Mercury-News
Arizona: Is Arizona doing enough to protect 2020 elections? Computer security experts weigh in | Andrew Oxford/Arizona Republic
Georgia: Check-in computers stolen in Atlanta hold statewide voter data | Mark Niesse and Arielle Kass/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
(PS: Instead stealing these computers they could have hacked them or the voting machines.)
Louisiana: New Louisiana election, same old voting machines | Melinda DeSlatte/Associated Press
New Jersey: Activists press for federal support to upgrade New Jersey’s vulnerable voting machines | Briana Vannozzi/NJTV News
North Carolina: Experts Warn of Voting Machine Vulnerabilities in North Carolina | Nancy McLaughlin/Greensboro News & Record
North Carolina: Voting equipment approval didn’t follow law | Jordan Wilkie/Carolina Public Press
Pennsylvania: Elections officials touted new electronic poll books. Now the city says they don’t work right. | Jonathan Lai/Philadelphia Inquirer

States and the Federal Government are pumping millions into cybersecurity and new voting systems. That is all good, especially when the new systems are for Voter Marked Paper Ballots and Ballot Marking Devices for those with disabilities. Yet ultimately, it can provide a false sense of security. No matter how strong the cybersecurity and the quality of software, based on Turing’s Halting Problem, it is impossible to secure a computer system from errors and hacking. it is also impossible to secure systems from insiders and others with physical access.

That is why we need:

  • Voter Marked Paper Ballots that can be audited and recounted to verify the machine results
  • Strong physical security and chain-of-custody for ballots
  • Best is publicly scanned and reported machine totals compared to the physical ballots
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