Who’s in charge: Secretary of State Connie Lawson
While states like Maine hope taking a low-tech approach to voting will help keep it secure from hackers, Indiana is taking the opposite route with Secretary of State Connie Lawson proudly hyping all the cybersecurity measures that have been implemented, although one outside organization rating voting security gave the state a failing grade.
Lawson told Indianans in a pre-election statement that neither the state’s voting machines nor tabulators are not connected to the internet. Additionally, those same pieces of equipment are tested by the Voting System Technical Oversight Program at Ball State University and each county conducts public tests of voting equipment prior to the election.
Indiana also participated in risk and vulnerability testing conducted by the Department of Homeland Security to include the statewide voter registration system and the state election website.
To help limit the possibility of an unauthorized person gaining access to any electronic information the state has instituted two-factor authentication and IT staffers monitor traffic on all election websites and databases.
The state’s problems, according to AmericanProgress.org, stem from the fact the voting machines do not leave a paper trail and there is no post-election audit. Other failing points included allowing absentee ballots to be filed electronically and only a portion of the state’s equipment is run through logic and accuracy testing.
The state has passed new laws establishing the required physical security of the voting machines, and Lawson noted that many local municipalities have added their own regulations on top of what the state requires.
The state of Indiana’s election security is also a campaign issue this year. Lawson, a Republican who has held the post since 2012, is being challenged by Democrat Jim Harper and Libertarian Mark Rutherford. While the office of secretary of state handles other tasks, securing the elections has proven to be the hot topic, reported the Indiana Daily Journal.