Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Computer Experts Urge Ga. to Scrap Dominion Machines for Paper Ballots

'Attackers could then mark ballots inconsistently with voters’ intent, alter recorded votes or even identify voters’ secret ballots... '

(Headline USAA group of computer and election integrity experts are warning Georgia election officials not to use Dominion Voting Systems machines, saying there are “serious threats” posed by an alleged breach of the equipment.

The 13 experts sent a letter to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and members of the state election board urging the state to switch to paper ballots instead of using Dominion’s touch-screen machines. The experts included academics and former state election officials, none of whom were involved in former President Donald Trump’s allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

The letter cited a reported breach of security in Coffee County, which is being investigated by the Georgia Secretary of State office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

“The investigation is active and ongoing,” state election board chair William Duffey said in a statement. “Information developed will be considered to evaluate the impact of the Coffee County conduct.”

The breach involved an apparent unauthorized copying of election equipment in Coffee County by a computer forensics team in January 2021. The team was allegedly working with former Trump attorney Sidney Powell, according to emails.

Other computer experts have issued similar warnings about Dominion’s machines. Last year, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, or CISA, warned that Dominion machines used in at least 16 states could be easily compromised.

“These vulnerabilities, for the most part, are not ones that could be easily exploited by someone who walks in off the street, but they are things that we should worry could be exploited by sophisticated attackers, such as hostile nation states, or by election insiders, and they would carry very serious consequences,” University of Michigan computer scientist J. Alex Halderman said at the time.

Several other particularly worrisome vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to forge cards used in the machines by technicians, giving the attacker access to a machine that would allow the software to be changed, Halderman said.

“Attackers could then mark ballots inconsistently with voters’ intent, alter recorded votes or even identify voters’ secret ballots,” Halderman said.

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