David J. Hickton, director and founder of the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security, told MSNBC on Wednesday they American elections will continue to be vulnerable to hacking until the country returns to old-fashioned paper ballots.
"Putting the voter closer to the ballot helps, but also those ballots give us the ability to do the post-election audit," Hickton said. "It does seem counterintuitive when you think about it that we have to go back to former methods of voting, but the threat factor we face is clear. The machines that we've been using which were reformed when they were introduced in the mid-2000s have been demonstrated to be vulnerable over and over again."
Hickton said that replacing electronic voting machines had been his organization's first recommendations for Pennsylvania from the Blue Ribbon Commission on Pennsylvania Election Security results released earlier this year.
"Going back to paper ballots, and then scanning those ballots, and then having them available to look for abnormalities in the count is the way to protect ourselves today," he continued. "There is no protectable digital solution today in February 2019." He added that online voter registration systems were just as vulnerable to hacking. "Clearly anything connected to the Internet, that open environment is going to be exposed to risk."
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