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Sunday, December 3rd, 2023

Senators concerned election system not prepared for foreign threats

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Four Senate Intelligence Committee members recently sent a letter to Tom Burt, president and CEO of Election Systems & Software (ES&S), urging the company to arrange independent testing of its election systems.

Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Kamala Harris (D-CA), James Lankford (R-OK), and Mark Warner (D-VA) signed the letter.

At the DEF CON cybersecurity conference earlier this month, researchers were able to hack multiple security systems. ES&S dismissed the demonstration as unrealistic. The committee found this response disheartening, the letter said.

“Election agencies must be able to make informed decisions about what election equipment will help them conduct secure elections, and independent testing helps both election agencies and vendors,” the letter said. “Many industries have found that a critical element of security testing involves embracing the work of the independent security research community.”

States and researchers have difficulty securing election systems because of the high cost.

The letter asked Burt if ES&S will agree to independent testing if the company will work with agencies that provide testing, if it will offer election agencies with its systems for independent testing, and if it will provide its systems to researchers for testing.