Virginia on Friday agreed to stop using paperless touchscreen voting machines that had been flagged by cyber security experts as potentially vulnerable to hackers and lacking sufficient vote auditing capabilities.
The action represented one of the most concrete steps taken by a U.S. state to bolster the cyber security of election systems since the 2016 presidential race, when U.S. intelligence agencies say Russia waged a digital influence campaign to help President Donald Trump win.
Virginia’s board of elections voted to accept a recommendation from its state election director, Edgardo Cortes, to decertify so-called direct-recording electronic machines, which count votes digitally and do not produce paper trails that can be checked against a final result.
Barbara Simons, the president of Verified Voting, a nonprofit that advocates for auditable elections, applauded the decision as “a critical step toward securing its elections”.
At least 21 states had their election systems targeted by Russian hackers last year leading up to the November 8 contest, according to the Department of Homeland Security. While a small number of systems were breached, there is no evidence any votes were manipulated, the agency concluded.
Arizona and Illinois have publicly confirmed that hackers targeted their voter registration systems. Other states said they had not been informed whether they were among those to have their systems scanned.
Most states will not hold a major election until November 2018, but Virginia will elect a new governor and other statewide officials this November.
Five states still rely solely on direct record electronic machines, according to Verified Voting. They include New Jersey, which will also elect a new governor this year.
Eight other states rely on a mix of paper ballots and paperless direct recording electronic machines, the group said.
(Reporting by Dustin Volz; Editing by Andrew Hay)
‘Morrison in the USA sucking up to Trump’: Aussies furious to see prime minister campaigning for Trump
President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison appeared at a rally in Ohio Sunday, prompting Aussies to complain that it's unacceptable for their leader to be campaigning for Trump.
Trump invited himself to a Houston, Texas rally with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where he tried to campaign for the U.S. president with Indian-American voters. Sadly, however, nearly 80 percent of Indian-American voters cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
All of the corruption happening in Trump White House has been outed by his own people: Dem strategist
President Donald Trump might be alleging a "deep state conspiracy" or blaming Democrats for striking out against him, but as one analyst explained, it's his own people behind these reports.
During an MSNBC discussion, Democratic strategist Tara Dowdell explained that it's hardly any kind of conspiracy when Trump's own people are reporting him for doing something illegal.
"All of the leaks, all of the information that we have currently about the corruption going on in the Trump Administration has come from Trump officials," Dowdell told host Rev. Al Sharpton. "They’re the ones leaking this information. Democrats have been obstructed by the Trump Administration from almost every request for documents. We saw how Corey Lewandowski behaved in that hearing. So, what makes this even more compelling is it’s part of a pattern that people within Trump’s own administration are the ones that are exposing him. So, there’s nothing more compelling —"
Republicans love the Constitution — until it applies to them: Conservative columnist
Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot unleashed on President Donald Trump's latest scandal he's calling Ukraine-gate. But when it comes to Republicans, he called them outright complicit.
In his Sunday column, Boot noted that a mob boss doesn't have to overtly say “pay up, or we will destroy your store” to be guilty of extortion. In Trump's case, he tends to say things in a way that it is understood what he wants people to do, according to former "fixer" Michael Cohen.