State of security: Idaho

Who’s in charge: Secretary of State Lawerence Denney

Keeping voters calm and giving them confidence in the electoral system has been an on-going concern across the country.

With November 6 hovering just a few weeks away, Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney on October 17 issued a statement to calm voter anxiety over the trove of voting records that were found for sale on the dark web. Denney told Idahoans that while some state data was found it was not due to a data breach.

“While this information is available publicly for legitimate, political or research purposes, the law prohibits anyone from using this information for commercial purposes,” he said.

In addition, the state created a short video explaining to its residents how the election is secured.

To help bolster its general cybersecurity stance the state receive $3.2 million in federal funds, which was matched with an additional $161,000 by the state.

The state has been praised for its use of paper ballots and for testing its voting equipment to EAC Voluntary Voting System Guidelines prior to use. For the 2018 election, Idaho added pre-election logic and accuracy testing, which can be observed by the public, on all machines that will be used as an additional security measure. The tabulation machines are not connected to the internet or each other with poll workers tabulating the results and report them to the state election headquarters.

The state’s voter registration database is monitored for unusual traffic and backed up. Idaho officials also point out that when not in use the state’s voting equipment is stored in a secure facility that is only accessible by election officials.

On the flip side the state does not hold a post-election audit and allows absentee ballots to be returned electronically and it does not reconcile its ballots at the end of voting on Election Day.

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