There was not enough time before November mid-term elections to switch to a safe alternative on paper, said District Judge Amy Totenberg
A judge in the state of Georgia, US, approved the use of electronic voting machines, despite a “serious concern” that these devices could be hacked. This concern has caused many territories to speak out against the implementation of these electronic ballot boxes.
The sentence was “meaningful”, an expert on electronic voting and ethical hacking mentioned.
Last May 2017, a lawsuit was filed against the Georgia’s Secretary of State for the use of these direct registration electronic voting machines (DRE).
There are now less than two months left for the November legislative elections in the United States, when many of the new members of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the US Congress will be elected.
Judge Totenberg mentioned in the trial that the lawsuit had taken place “in the last moment” and that switching to a voting system on paper could now “jeopardize the upcoming elections, the turnout of voters and the orderly administration of the election day”. However, he also recognized the seriousness of the threat posed by hackers, and she asked state officials why they did not have acted before.
“The Tribunal is really concerned about the low efficiency that the State has shown to respond to the serious vulnerabilities of its voting system, of which specialists in ethical hacking had warned since 2016, while software arrangements, hardware and other deficiencies of the program were evident even from before”.
The judge concluded: “The Georgia state’s position in this litigation, and part of the testimony and evidence presented in the trial, indicated that the accused and the state’s electoral officials ignored the warnings”. The judge therefore requests that the security concerns of the electronic ballot boxes be addressed and resolved by the relevant government agencies.
There are 14 US states that will use electronic voting machines this election. During the process the voting will not be registered on paper.
Specialists in ethical hacking from the International Institute of Cyber Security believe that there is a risk that people using electronic voting machines will begin to distrust the democratic process if the views of researchers on cybersecurity are not they take it seriously.