In an advisory to state election officials, the nation's top cybersecurity agency stated that electronic voting machines made by a major vendor are vulnerable to hacking.
According to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), there is no evidence that the Dominion Voting Systems equipment flaws were exploited in order to alter election results. This advisory is based upon testing by a prominent computer scientist, expert witness in a long-running suit that is not related to false allegations of a stolen vote pushed by Donald Trump after his defeat in 2020.
The advisory was obtained by The Associated Press ahead of Friday's expected release. It details nine vulnerabilities and recommends protective measures to prevent their exploitation. CISA appears to be trying to strike a balance between not alarming people and urging election officials to act.
Brandon Wales, CISA Executive Director, stated in a statement that states' standard election security procedures would detect exploit of these vulnerabilities and in some cases would prevent attempts altogether." However, the advisory seems to indicate that states aren’t doing enough. The advisory calls for prompt mitigation measures. This includes both enhanced and continued "defensive measures" to reduce the chance of exploiting these vulnerabilities. It's evident that this is not happening in every state that uses the machines.
J. Alex Halderman from the University of Michigan, the computer scientist who wrote the advisory, has long maintained that digital technology used to record votes is dangerous. Computers are intrinsically vulnerable to hacking, and therefore require multiple safeguards that don't always apply. Many other election security experts agree that hand-marking paper ballots is the best method to vote and allows for meaningful post-election audits.
Halderman stated to the AP that these vulnerabilities are not easily exploited by anyone who walks by on the street. However, they are something that we should be concerned about being exploited if possible by sophisticated attackers such as hostile nations states or election insiders. These could have serious consequences.
Recent indictment of Tina Peters, Mesa County Clerk in Colorado, has raised concerns about election meddling. Tina Peters is a favorite among conspiracy theorists. She is currently running for the position of top election official in her state. The data from the county's voting machines was posted on election conspiracy websites last year shortly after Peters attended a symposium organized by Mike Lindell, MyPillow CEO. Recently, she was barred from overseeing the election in her county.