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Mon Feb 19, 2018, 11:35 AM

Securing US election systems: Why a paper ballot isnt enough

By R. James Woolsey and Brent Turner on February 14, 2018 1:00 am

At first glance, a citizen or “expert” might be persuaded that the way to provide adequate security surrounding the current U.S. election systems is to make sure the systems utilize paper ballots. This is certainly a good idea, but only one piece of the necessary security conversation.

The fact is these systems run on software and the “bugging” of the software is a major vulnerability, regardless of the paper ballot component. If we are to properly defend against outside (and possibly inside) interference, or “hacking,” the software can not remain private and secret. For national security, the election system software must be what is used by NASA, the Air Force, and the Department of Defense. It must be open source

Top election system solution technologists language in the Secure Elections Act, a bill introduced by Sen. James Lankford, R-OK, and co-sponsored by Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is deficient in its failure to address the software code issues. Merely calling for a paper ballot will not provide adequate security.

Our new election systems must have open-source software as well as a paper ballot. If the bill does not call for public, open-source software, the systems purchased via the bill will suffer grave threat security vulnerability, allowing outside forces to manipulate our U.S. elections.


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Reply Securing US election systems: Why a paper ballot isnt enough (Original post)
turbinetree Feb 2018 OP
Wounded Bear Feb 2018 #1
bluestarone Feb 2018 #2

Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 11:40 AM

1. Paper ballots do allow better subsequent validation...

but the article is right. The software is key, and having companies owned by Repubs maintain it as "proprietary" leaves us open to continued manipulation.

Elections were stolen long before the invention of computers, but that doesn't mean we ignore what can be done with them.

After all, it is direct and deliberate use of demographic database software that enabled the rampant gerrymandering we suffer from now. It's always been done, just not with that granularity and precision until the computer age.

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 11:45 AM


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