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ICYMI: Under Lawson’s watch, Indiana elections still vulnerable to “hacking and manipulation”

INDIANAPOLIS – Less than 140 days until Hoosiers go to the polls, Indiana elections remain worryingly unsecured and it’s not clear Secretary of State Connie Lawson has a plan to ensure the integrity of the 2018 election. Indiana’s portion of a federal grant program isn’t enough to purchase new equipment with a paper ballot or an audit function, an essential step toward increasing security and public confidence in outcomes. It’s partly why the Center for American Progress awarded Indiana an “F” for election security.

FROM THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR: Indiana may need millions of dollars to prevent election hacking by Russia and others

“We either need paper ballots or a way to audit,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Congress during a May budget hearing.

“Indiana’s use of some voting machines that don’t include paper ballots is one reason the Center for American Progress gave Indiana a failing grade in a February assessment of election security in states. The report said Indiana’s system is “susceptible to hacking and manipulation by sophisticated nation-states.”

“The Brennan Center for Justice estimates Indiana would need $22.7 million to $35.6 million to replace its paperless voting machines. The $7.6 million in available federal funds — contingent on the state contributing about $380,000 of its own money — is about 10 percent of the funding received after the 2000 election.

“In the other counties, voters use touch screens to record their votes. Those systems don’t allow for the type of post-election audit that election security advocates say every state should do.

“A lot of the cybersecurity stuff isn’t stuff you would physically see at the voting booth,” Warycha said.”

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody questioned Secretary Lawson’s commitment to securing Indiana’s elections.

“Just months before Hoosiers go to the polls, Secretary Lawson appears to be asleep at the wheel, potentially leaving our vote dangerously susceptible to foreign manipulation,” said Zody. “Earning an “F” for election security doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, nor does the lack of a clear plan to ensure public confidence in election results. As our state’s Chief Elections Officer, it seems Lawson is making more excuses than concrete plans to secure our vote. Why wasn’t she lobbying the Legislature for more resources to ensure voting machines statewide are secure heading into the 2018 election?”

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