News by Professionals 4 Professionals

wisconsin

Will Electronic Poll Books Make Wisconsin Elections More Vulnerable to Hackers?

Update, June 20:

It appears Wisconsin will become the 28th state to begin using electronic poll books. The Wisconsin Elections Commission on Tuesday voted to have its staff develop the software and offer it to municipalities. A spokesman earlier told WUWM that the state’s paper poll books and decentralized voting system likely made Wisconsin elections less appealing to Russian hackers. The state has used paper poll books until now. They are printouts of all registered voters in the ward and their addresses. There are companies that sell the software for e-poll books, but Wisconsin is opting to create its own and save money, in doing so. Any municipalities interested in using the program would have to purchase the hardware needed – laptops and printers.

Original story: June 12, 2017

WEC’s Reid Magney talks about safeguards to Wisconsin’s voting system. While there are reports that Russia attempted to disrupt last year s U.S. presidential election, including by penetrating a Florida company that provides some communities with software for their electronic poll books, Wisconsin did not notice anything suspicious, according to Reid Magney, spokesman for the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Wisconsin does not have electronic poll books. All of our poll books are printed on paper. What happened in Florida is that the Russians somehow were able to steal identities or credentials for this voting company, and then (the hackers) sent emails to local elections officials in Florida and to some other states where the company does business – trying to get people to click on malicious links or open word documents that contained malicious software, Magney says.

Is Wisconsin moving toward electronic polls books, and if so, how do you (plan to secure them)?

We are moving toward electronic polls books the commission is meeting on June 20 and will get a presentation about electronic poll books. Do we want to build our own system, or do we want to essentially set standards and let vendors meet those standards and then sell their products to clerks in Wisconsin, the way we now do with voting equipment. But any system that gets approved will have to have very strong security, Magney says. What types of protections are in place in Wisconsin to guard against a (cyber) attack or to detect one, if it is taking place?

We have 1,853 municipal clerks and 72 county clerks whom we partner with in running elections in Wisconsin. We have a statewide voter registration system, which keeps the names and addresses of all the people who are registered to vote and information about the election (such as) where the polling places are, who the poll workers are, who the candidates are, etc. We have a very sophisticated system set up and one that we just essentially rebuilt and re-launched last year. We have excellent security associated with that.

Now the issue is, if someone were to trick somebody who has access to that system into giving up their credentials, it is possible someone could get access to that system. But again, if you are a clerk in a city, that clerk only has access to that city s records, not the whole state s,” Magney says. Magney says Wisconsin has other safeguards in place to identify if a hacker had entered the system and was doing something malicious. While WEC leaders have not seen or heard evidence of anything like that happening, he says they are reminding clerks to be careful, in light of Russian attempts to attack voting systems.

In Wisconsin, almost 90 percent of ballots are cast on paper, either optical scan paper ballots or hand-counted paper ballots. There are about 10 percent that are cast on touch- screen voting machines and even those have a paper trail to them. So these machines are not connected to the internet and the system is very decentralized. There is no one place that holds the programing to all the machines, so there is no one place where the system is vulnerable it is all very distributed, Magney says.

Wisconsin’s Decentralized Voting System, Paper Polls Books Could Have Deterred Russian Hacking

Update, June 20:

It appears Wisconsin will become the 28th state to begin using electronic poll books. The Wisconsin Elections Commission on Tuesday voted to have its staff develop the necessary software and then offer it to municipalities. They could use it, if they purchased the hardware needed – laptops and printers. The state has used paper poll books, until now. They are printouts of all registered voters in the ward and their addresses. There are companies that sell the software, but Wisconsin is opting to create its own and save money, in doing so.

Original story: June 12, 2017

WEC’s Reid Magney talks about safeguards to Wisconsin’s voting system. While there are reports that Russia attempted to disrupt last year s U.S. presidential election, including by penetrating a Florida company that provides some communities with software for their electronic poll books, Wisconsin did not notice anything suspicious, according to Reid Magney, spokesman for the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Wisconsin does not have electronic poll books. All of our poll books are printed on paper. What happened in Florida is that the Russians somehow were able to steal identities or credentials for this voting company, and then (the hackers) sent emails to local elections officials in Florida and to some other states where the company does business – trying to get people to click on malicious links or open word documents that contained malicious software, Magney says. Is Wisconsin moving toward electronic polls books, and if so, how do you (plan to secure them)?

We are moving toward electronic polls books the commission is meeting on June 20 and will get a presentation about electronic poll books. Do we want to build our own system, or do we want to essentially set standards and let vendors meet those standards and then sell their products to clerks in Wisconsin, the way we now do with voting equipment. But any system that gets approved will have to have very strong security, Magney says.

What types of protections are in place in Wisconsin to guard against a (cyber) attack or to detect one, if it is taking place?

We have 1,853 municipal clerks and 72 county clerks whom we partner with in running elections in Wisconsin. We have a statewide voter registration system, which keeps the names and addresses of all the people who are registered to vote and information about the election (such as) where the polling places are, who the poll workers are, who the candidates are, etc. We have a very sophisticated system set up and one that we just essentially rebuilt and re-launched last year. We have excellent security associated with that.

Now the issue is, if someone were to trick somebody who has access to that system into giving up their credentials, it is possible someone could get access to that system. But again, if you are a clerk in a city, that clerk only has access to that city s records, not the whole state s,” Magney says.

Magney says Wisconsin has other safeguards in place to identify if a hacker had entered the system and was doing something malicious. While WEC leaders have not seen or heard evidence of anything like that happening, he says they are reminding clerks to be careful, in light of Russian attempts to attack voting systems.

In Wisconsin, almost 90 percent of ballots are cast on paper, either optical scan paper ballots or hand-counted paper ballots. There are about 10 percent that are cast on touch- screen voting machines and even those have a paper trail to them. So these machines are not connected to the internet and the system is very decentralized. There is no one place that holds the programing to all the machines, so there is no one place where the system is vulnerable it is all very distributed, Magney says.

Embattled O’Hare, Midway Security Force Gets New Chief

Embattled O'Hare, Midway Security Force Gets New Chief Andrew Velasquez III View Full Caption[1]

Flickr/Joselito Tagarao; Department of Homeland Security

O’HARE A former federal emergency response official will lead the security force charged with protecting passengers at O’Hare and Midway airports, Aviation Commissioner Ginger[2] Evans[3] said Tuesday. Andrew Velasquez III will serve as the managing deputy commissioner for safety and security for O Hare and Midway International Airports, Evans said. Velasquez will replace Jeffrey Redding, who was fired in April[4] from his $118,020-a-year position as deputy commissioner for security. Velasquez will earn $175,000 annually because he will also be charged with overseeing emergency response efforts at the airport and work with federal, state and city agencies, officials said.

“Andrew s strong experience managing large governmental security agencies and coordinating high level emergency responses between federal, state and city agencies makes him extremely qualified to manage safety and security operations for two of the nation s largest airports, and lead the multilayered security program that helps more than 100 million passengers safely travel through Chicago s airports each year, Evans said in a statement.

In 2015, former President Barack Obama appointed Velasquez as the administrator of a six-state area made up of of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Velasquez served as the director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency from 2007-15, and was the executive director of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications. A former Chicago police officer, Velasquez is a native of Chicago, officials said. Velasquez takes over a 292-officer Aviation Security Force that is under investigation not only by Evans but also by Inspector General Joseph Ferguson[5] after security officers injured a Louisville doctor[6] by dragging him off a United flight on April 9.

Evans apologized for the fracas that broke Dr. David Dao’s nose, knocked out two of his front teeth and gave him a concussion. Emanuel called the conduct of the security officers “totally, all-around unacceptable.” Emanuel said Evans was due to complete a top-to-bottom review of airport security in May, but no findings have been announced. In a separate incident, an off-duty Aviation Department security officer was injured and a teenager shot[7] when bullets flew between two cars June 8 in Buffalo Grove.

Velasquez, whose first day on the job was Tuesday, will also find himself embroiled in the simmering fight[8] over whether Aviation Security Officers[9] should be stripped of the right to call themselves police. Redding was terminated from the Aviation Department after the Tribune[10] reported he was previously fired by the Illinois Tollway after officials received complaints that he sought sex and money in exchange for work-related favors. Redding acknowledged to the newspaper that he had a consensual relationship with a female toll collector, but said that was not the reason he was terminated. Redding also denied he coerced the woman into having sex or giving him money.

Evans gave no reason for Redding’s dismissal from the Aviation Department, and representatives of the mayor’s office and the Aviation Department did not respond to questions from DNAinfo.

References

  1. ^ Andrew Velasquez III (www.dnainfo.com)
  2. ^ Ginger (www.dnainfo.com)
  3. ^ Evans (www.dnainfo.com)
  4. ^ Jeffrey Redding, who was fired in April (www.dnainfo.com)
  5. ^ Joseph Ferguson (www.dnainfo.com)
  6. ^ injured a Louisville doctor (www.dnainfo.com)
  7. ^ was injured and a teenager shot (www.dnainfo.com)
  8. ^ embroiled in the simmering fight (www.dnainfo.com)
  9. ^ Aviation Security Officers (www.dnainfo.com)
  10. ^ Tribune (www.chicagotribune.com)
1 2 3 403