Software breach puts California recall election at risk, experts call for an audit

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 9, 2020 : Absentee voter mailing vote by mail ballot at a U.S. Post Office mailbox.

Eight election security experts wrote a letter to California’s Secretary of State Shirley Weber to demand an audit on the state’s recall election. The election isn’t for another 11 days but the risks are great enough that they are asking the secretary prepare for a post-election audit now.

“Each of us has well over a decade of continuous experience in that field and a long history of conducting technical studies of voting systems or voting-related cybersecurity, as well as writing, speaking, testifying, making media appearances on many aspects of election integrity,” the letter reads by introduction. “Several of us have served on special panels and task forces appointed by previous California Secretaries of State and have worked closely with local election officials in California.”

Their concern is that the illegal public release of images of Dominion’s electric management system (EMS) could put the election in danger. “As of August 2021, thousands of unknown people can study the code and find weaknesses to plan attacks on elections,” their letter read. “We believe it is important that a public commitment to such post-election verification be made before Election Day. Otherwise, it may appear to be a partisan decision, and there may be calls for other kinds of“audits”that are neither scientifically grounded nor probative, and that would likely undermine public confidence in the election.”

However, a spokeswoman for Weber, Jenna Dresner, said that the state will be using a different version of Dominion’s EMS. As a result, they will allegedly be protected from any election interference.“California has the strictest and most comprehensive voting system testing, use, and requirements in the country, and it was designed to withstand potential threats,” Dresner told the AP.

California voters will decide on Sept. 14th whether to recall current Governor Gavin Newsom and elect conservative Larry Elder, or let Newsom finish his term.

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