Georgia's elections are vulnerable to hacking, computer experts warn. Georgia is one of nine states that uses electronic voting machines and lacks a paper trail. The machines were purchased by the state government in 2001, and they're expected to come up for replacement in 2020.
The state has outdated voting machines that could be easily hacked and unreliable internet connections, computer security experts told state lawmakers Monday.
Experts say Georgia might need to replace its voting machines with ones that use paper ballots this year, despite a federal judge's ruling last month that the state's existing system is constitutional. The state has until June 20 to respond to the ruling. The threats to Georgia's elections were revealed in a report by the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University. The center examined Georgia's election system and found several vulnerabilities that could allow outside parties to tamper with votes or cause confusion at polling stations during an election.
Digital security experts say they're not surprised by the findings because they've been warning about these problems for years. But they say it's still concerning because Georgia hasn't taken any steps since then to address them."It's been very disappointing," said J Alex Halderman, director of Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy.
The center's report comes as the state is preparing for a special election to fill the seat left vacant by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. A top Republican candidate has already called for replacing all of Georgia's voting machines with paper ballots. In its letter, the Brennan Center asked Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr to respond to its findings. Kemp released a statement saying he was working with officials from both the state Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service on cybersecurity issues related to this year's elections.
The group, which includes researchers and security specialists from the University of Georgia, FSU and Kennesaw State University, has identified several vulnerabilities in Georgia's voting machines.
The state is currently using nearly 500 touch screen voting machines that are vulnerable to hacking. The team found that those machines can be easily compromised by attackers who have physical access to the machine.
The computer experts who have been urging Georgia to replace its voting machines are coming to the state's rescue again, this time to help protect against cyber attacks. The group, known as The Election Protection Coalition, has created a website that will provide detailed information about how voters can protect themselves from hacking attempts and vote-rigging by election officials.
The site addresses concerns that Georgia may not have updated its voting machines in time for the 2020 presidential election. In a series of tweets on January 18, 2020, President Trump warned that if Georgia fails to do so by May 1st – when federal law requires it .
The new site includes links to a video explaining how to avoid being hacked by hackers. It also provides information about what voters should do if they experience difficulties at the polls or when rescheduled due to weather or other circumstances.
A cybersecurity expert is urging Georgia to replace voting machines in order to ensure the integrity of its elections. The voting machines which are being used now have detected errors. Again and again the machines are showing wrong results because of which the political leaders as well as the normal citizens are protesting continuously! The state has already sent a letter and assured the citizens that soon they will try to work on this issue and will change the machines.
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