How safe are voting systems?

Posted at 11:27 PM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-04 06:19:08-04
Hackers have recently tried to infiltrate voter registration systems in nearly half the states across the country.
Now, some states are calling in a government agency to help shore up its voting systems.
"The concern is that any time you introduce a new application or a new website the question of security these days always comes up," said Compass Cyber Security CEO, Bob Olsen.
That's the fear with Maryland's new online ballot delivery systems.
"What we see on new applications when they roll out there's usually some number of security vulnerabilities," Olsen said.

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The Deputy Administrator of  Maryland's Board of Elections, Nikki Charlson, said all servers and systems are employed by the best practices to avoid fraud.
"With the ballot system that was just implemented a big challenge and also a big potential vulnerability is the end user devices so your personal computer at home," Olsen said.
While you can't vote online, the online ballot delivery system isn't foolproof.
"They may have done a good job of securing the system with the new application but your personal computer may be the victim of spyware or key logger that then makes it a vulnerable system," Olsen said.
And it could be even more serious.
"You don't really know who's on the other end of that computer," Olsen said.
Many states have outdated voting machines which poses another security risk says Olsen.
"The states are really seeing that they are truly vulnerable to some third party hacker or some nation state," he said.
Some are even enlisting the Department of Homeland security to help but will everything be up to par by election day?
"Even if they're able to assess it, it's highly unlikely in the short period of time until the election where they could address those," Olsen said.
With a controversial election mere weeks away, voters are asking questions.
"From what I understand that even in Maryland's last election they had some problems with the electronic voting and I'm not an expert in technology seems like they can hack into a lot of stuff"," voter, Steve Chrismer, said.
Although the U.S.warns that foreign hackers may try to affect Novembers' vote, officials say the system is so diverse it would be extremely hard to affect the outcome.

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