Cybersecurity experts have warned that a highly flawed and vulnerable electronic voting system in Alaska could, by itself, swing the entire outcome of the mid-term elections and decide whether Democrats remain in control of the Senate.
A report from The Intercept highlights how easy hackers could intercept and change electronic ballots before they are counted by county elections departments in the Last Frontier State.
The report notes that thousands of voters will register electronically to receive a PDF ballot on their computer. The completed PDF will then be returned via “a dedicated secure data center”.
The State describes the system as being “behind a layer of redundant firewalls under constant physical and application monitoring to ensure the security of the system, voter privacy, and election integrity.”
However, the State has also issued a rather worrying disclaimer which notes “when returning the ballot through the secure online voting solution, you are voluntarily waving [sic] your right to a secret ballot and are assuming the risk that a faulty transmission may occur.”
“They admit that they are not taking responsibility for the validity of the system,” says Bruce McConnell, a former leading cybersecurity officer with the Department of Homeland Security.
“They’re saying, ‘Your vote may be counted correctly, incorrectly, or may not be counted at all, and we are not taking any responsibility for that.’ That kind of disclaimer would be unacceptable if you saw it on the wall of a polling place.” McConnell told The Intercept.
Cybersecurity experts also say that the system being used by Alaska, which was created by a Spanish-based company called Scytl, could potentially allow hackers anywhere in the world to get access.
Writyen by Steve Watson
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