Voting is the cornerstone of American democracy and a fundamental right of all Americans. Our existence as a democratic republic is only made possible and legitimate through free and fair elections. Each American's voice should be heard, but to ensure that, we must protect the ballot box. Like everything else in the digital age, however, voting can be vulnerable to hacking. There are about 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide that administer elections, and even within States, counties use different systems and different technologies to conduct elections. While no longer on the table for this election cycle, State and local election officials, including Secretary Kemp, who is here today, have expressed concern that classifying the election system as critical infrastructure would effectively be a Federal takeover of what has always been a local process. According to security experts, a massive attack against the infrastructure as a whole is not the biggest cyber vulnerability in the election process. Rather, it is the individual voting machines that pose some of the greatest risk. According to a 2015 report from the Brennan Center for Justice, many voting machines were designed and engineered in the 1990s or early 2000s. These machines were designed before the Internet base of sort of advanced cyber risks that now are all too common in our current threat environment. Beyond cyber attacks, these machines are also vulnerable to operational failures like crashes and glitches. As one security expert at Rice University put it, "These machines, they barely work in a friendly environment."
Cybersecurity: Ensuring the Integrity of the Ballot Box
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