XFER has been serving Michigan since 1994, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Are American Voting Systems Secure?

Are American Voting Systems Secure?

Election Day for the United States is November 6th, and regardless of your feelings regarding U.S. politics, the fact of the matter is that millions of Americans will soon go to the polls and cast their ballots. Unfortunately, what many of them don’t realize is how insecure their voting machines actually are, and how they are potentially putting their vote at risk.

What Most Polling Places Have
The majority of American polling places are operating with equipment that is fast approaching 15 years old. For reference, here’s a brief list of products and technologies that haven’t even been around for ten years yet:

  • Google Chrome
  • Airbnb
  • Spotify
  • Kickstarter
  • 4G
  • Mobile GPS
  • Instagram
  • The iPad

One cofounder of nonprofit group Open Source Election Technology, Greg Miller, puts it this way: "You have equipment that was introduced in 2005. In that time frame, how many times have you changed your mobile phone? And how many times have we replaced our laptops?” In short, the American voting system is reliant on, as Miller described it,”... obsolete hardware [and] software that relies on a diet of spare parts.”

The other cofounder of the nonprofit OSET, John Sebes, has demonstrated just how vulnerable these systems could potentially be to manipulation.

Most polling places collect all of the voting data onto a piece of portable media, like a CD or a USB drive, and bring it to a separate location to be tallied. Unfortunately, the machines used here are also usually outdated, as is the software used to process the results of the vote.

In a live demonstration on a national news network, Sebes used one of these machines to tally votes for two fictional candidates, Thorfer and Varda. In the example, Thorfer had won in a landslide with over 3,000 votes, the opposing Varda only receiving 100. However, with a very simple malware, Sebes was able to just switch the tallies, making “Varda” a fraudulent winner - and while access to these tallying computers is secured, some may not be secured as well as others are.

Furthermore, many polling places maintain a paper backup of the vote, just in case there needs to be a recount, but there are also many who have no paper backup at all. This includes some states known as “battleground” or “swing” states, where a much smaller number of votes can potentially have a significant impact on the final outcome.

How to Minimize the Issue
Unfortunately, the easiest solution to this problem is also impossible. One would think that there would be a singular set of standards for all polling places to abide by - but since the American Constitution specifies that each state is in control of its own electoral procedures, this consistency is effectively made impossible.

However, there are other ways that have been suggested to protect voting technology… some of which are decidedly lower-tech.

Temporarily Eliminate Online Voting
Some states have made online voting available, primarily to service members or other citizens who may be abroad, and many allow email ballots to be submitted. However, until security is improved for these methods, it has been suggested that they are suspended.

Utilize Physical Backups
Yes, we know. We generally say that all of your backups should be saved to the cloud, but in this case, that would be counterproductive. After all, a physically-generated paper backup that records each vote isn’t hackable (unlike a digital system) and could easily be used to cross-check any contested results.

Invest in Improved Voting Equipment
As one might imagine upon hearing that most American voting machines are over a decade old, updating the infrastructure that enables the prime responsibility of democracy is clearly not a priority for those dispersing the funds. It has been suggested that Congress get involved, funding research into improving these machines and replacing the problematic older machines, as was last done in 2002.

Americans view the right to vote as a basic human right, so it seems especially bad that their infrastructure can get in the way of their doing so. Don’t let your business technology do the same to your employees and their work. Reach out to XFER for a better solution by calling 734-927-6666 / 800-438-9337.

Planning for Failing Technology Keeps You in Busin...
Tip of the Week: 5 Windows Tricks


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Friday, February 22 2019
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Tag Cloud

Security Technology Tip of the Week Privacy Microsoft Internet Cloud Best Practices Saving Money Backup Workplace Tips Business Computing Software Managed Service Provider Hosted Solutions Hackers Data Small Business Google Mobile Devices Hardware Productivity VoIP Mobile Office Malware Gadgets Network Security Email Quick Tips Efficiency Network Innovation IT Support IT Services Business Management Social Media Business Business Continuity Smartphones Miscellaneous Server Upgrade User Tips Communication Virtualization Disaster Recovery Communications Windows Data Backup Computer Microsoft Office Managed IT Services Data Recovery Users Smartphone Browser Mobile Device Management Passwords Android Holiday WiFi Save Money Marketing Internet of Things Ransomware Tech Term Outsourced IT Alert BDR Cybercrime Artificial Intelligence Mobile Computing Vendor Management Cloud Computing Chrome Router Windows 10 Operating System Remote Monitoring Productivity Bring Your Own Device Apple Automation BYOD Information Technology Cybersecurity Avoiding Downtime Computers Collaboration Remote Computing Best Practice History Telephone Systems IT Solutions The Internet of Things Going Green Firewall Managed IT Services Spam VPN Current Events Health Big Data Wireless Technology Hacking Trending Social Engineering IT Consultant Employer-Employee Relationship Printer Facebook Proactive IT Application Phone System Lithium-ion Battery Bandwidth Windows 10 Excel IT Support App Mobile Device Office Money Mobility Budget Mouse Maintenance Windows 8 Content Filtering Phishing Private Cloud Networking Office 365 Applications Encryption Unified Threat Management Two-factor Authentication Business Managament How To Fax Server Business Intelligence Recovery iPhone Training Save Time Analytics Website File Sharing Redundancy Data Protection Law Enforcement Gmail Apps Blockchain Access Control User Error Word Value Sports Settings Humor PowerPoint Outlook Data Security Tutorials Information Google Drive Virus Managed IT Customer Relationship Management Antivirus Hard Drives Social Connectivity Inbound Marketing Wi-Fi Tech Support Downtime Office Tips Memory Software as a Service Administration Data Management Scam Conferencing Compliance Flexibility Social Networking Digital Payment Vulnerability Entertainment Computer Repair Tablet Search Twitter Retail Identity Theft Human Resources Machine Learning Document Management Streaming Media Risk Management Administrator Voice over Internet Protocol Analysis Network Congestion Hacker IT Management Managed Service Saving Time Servers Augmented Reality Intranet Fraud Running Cable Spam Blocking PDF CES Safety IT Plan USB HaaS End of Support Robot Wearable Technology Virtual Assistant Net Neutrality Government YouTube Meetings Touchscreen Content Management Unsupported Software Best Available Infrastructure Healthcare Display Telephone System DDoS Bluetooth OneNote People Solid State Drive Update Data Storage Black Market Samsung Video Surveillance Comparison Smart Tech Keyboard Telephony Instant Messaging Online Currency Work/Life Balance Data Breach Wireless Physical Security Windows 7 Environment Cleaning Password Google Docs Point of Sale Piracy Public Cloud Botnet Recycling IBM Workers SaaS Biometrics Education Leadership IT service Statistics Data storage Credit Cards Computer Accessories Webinar Data loss Skype Paperless Office Programming Business Technology eWaste Help Desk Internet Exlporer ISP Monitor Frequently Asked Questions Wiring Science Patch Management Enterprise Content Management Employee/Employer Relationship Screen Mirroring Workforce Hosted Computing Proactive LinkedIn Text Messaging 360 Emails Professional Services Google Apps Students Bing Lifestyle Gaming Console Flash Fiber-Optic Cache Project Management Entrepreneur Work Station Electronic Medical Records Windows 8.1 Update File Versioning Business Owner Reputation Tip of the week Amazon Devices GDPR Tablets Windows 10s Password Management Smartwatch Charger Cast Telecommuting Inventory Remote Monitoring and Maintenance Hiring/Firing Internet exploMicrosoft Tools Shortcuts Windows Media Player Virtual Desktop Macro IoT HIPAA Sync Cables Wireless Internet Warranty Cost Management Debate Hiring/Firing NarrowBand Multiple Versions Customers Windows Server 2008 Amazon Web Services Thought Leadership E-Commerce Upgrades Analyitcs Uninterrupted Power Supply Co-managed IT NIST Employee Computer Care Software Tips Remote Work Line of Business Hosted Solution Advertising Password Manager Electronic Health Records eCommerce Customer Service Consultant Distributed Denial of Service Files Unified Communications Wire Microchip Chromecast Staff Cryptocurrency Webcam Restore Data Online Shopping Content Filter Camera Audit Digital Signage Authentication MSP Netflix Notifications Business Mangement Vendor Cameras Laptop Data Warehousing Specifications Insurance Licensing Colocation Start Menu Theft Smart Office IT Security Root Cause Analysis Digital Signature Safe Mode WIndows 7 Backup and Disaster Recovery Supercomputer SharePoint Regulations Evernote Storage Virtual Reality Print Server PC Care Computer Fan Shadow IT Shortcut Remote Support Scheduling Google Search HBO Nanotechnology Remote Worker nternet Crowdfunding 3D Hybrid Cloud Travel Criminal HVAC Security Cameras Printer Server Touchpad Millennials Practices User eBay IaaS Computing Infrastructure Mobile Cortana Search Engine Worker Commute Multi-Factor Security Accountants Strategy Managing Stress Domains Company Culture Knowledge Relocation Wireless Charging Addiction Virtual Private Network Bloatware Law Firm IT Alerts FENG Legal Assessment Thank You Rootkit Politics Television Congratulations Transportation Battery Troubleshooting Webinar Video Games Automobile Public Computer Benefits IT solutions Scalability Regulation Employer Employee Relationship CrashOverride Smart Technology Loyalty Books How to Experience Utility Computing Content Printers Two Factor Authentication Techology Emergency Music Worker Cryptomining Audiobook

Sign up for our Newsletter!

  • Company Name *
  • First Name *
  • Last Name *