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Virginia just decertified its many hackable voting machines


Following a opinion on Friday by the Virginia State Board of Elections, the state will take wilful movement to safeguard the firmness of its voting machines. Virginia’s election supervisors have educated 22 localities to desert their existent machines immediately, citing risks fundamental in the way they record votes.

“The Department of Elections believes that the risks presented by using this apparatus in the Nov General Election are amply poignant to aver evident decertification to safeguard the continued firmness of Virginia elections,” Department of Elections Commissioner Edgardo Cortés pronounced in a memo concomitant the decision.

Notably, the Virginia Department of Elections cited confidence investigate from the many new DefCon in its decision:

“As confidence threats against election systems have increased, the Department has grown some-more observant per intensity threats against voting equipment. In this environment, DefCon, an annual discussion of hackers, promoted the “Voting Machine Hacking Village” at which mixed voting machines, mostly DREs, were finished available. Multiple forms of DREs, some of which are now in use in Virginia, were hacked according to open reports from DefCon.”

The executive issue is that Virginia’s touchscreen equipment, famous as direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machines, did not furnish a paper route — one of the many strong if out-of-date safeguards against intensity opinion tampering. Verified Voting, an classification that monitors voting apparatus explains how these machines work:

“… Using one of 3 simple interfaces (pushbutton, touchscreen or dial) electorate record their votes directly into mechanism memory. The voter’s choices are stored in DREs around a memory cartridge, diskette or smart label and combined to the choices of all other voters. An alphabetic keyboard is typically supposing with the entrance device to concede for the probability of write-in votes, yet with older models this is still finished manually.

DRE systems can be renowned generally by the interface by which the voter prove her selections… Some DREs can be versed with Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) printers that concede the voter to endorse their selections on an eccentric paper record before recording their votes into mechanism memory.”

Because they can’t be checked against a paper record, these voting systems make it almost unfit to detect questionable activity. As the outline above notes, some DRE machines are interconnected with an additional device that can record votes to paper, but Virginia’s systems did not have this additional confidence measure.

The decision comes in time to secure the state’s voting systems before its arriving state and governor’s races on Nov 7.

Featured Image: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

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