* The information provided below is compiled from various independent organizations working on election defense. US BASE cannot verify the accuracy of all data. Additionally we cannot vet every state or local organization working on election defense.
Alaska Technology in Use
Verified Voting Foundation
* Note that "Paper Ballot" in the map below typically designates paper ballots counted by an electronic scanning device.
Center for American Progress State by State Voting System Report
See State Grade Below
"In August 2017, the Center for American Progress released a report entitled “9 Solutions for Securing America’s Elections,” laying out nine vulnerabilities in election infrastructure and solutions to help improve election security in time for the 2018 and 2020 elections. This report builds on that analysis to provide an overview of election security and preparedness in each state, looking specifically at state requirements and practices related to:
1. Minimum cybersecurity standards for voter registration systems
2. Voter-verified paper ballots
3. Post-election audits that test election results
4. Ballot accounting and reconciliation
5. Return of voted paper absentee ballots
6. Voting machine certification requirements
7. Pre-election logic and accuracy testing
This report provides an overview of state compliance with baseline standards to protect their elections from hacking and machine malfunction. Some experts may contend that additional standards, beyond those mentioned here, should be required of states to improve election security. The chief purpose of this report is to provide information on how states are faring in meeting even the minimum standards necessary to help secure their elections.
It is important to note at the outset that this report is not meant to be comprehen- sive of all practices that touch on issues of election security. We recognize that local jurisdictions sometimes have different or supplemental requirements and proce- dures from those required by the state. However, this report only considers state requirements reflected in statutes and regulations and does not include the more granular—and voluminous—information on more localized practices. Furthermore, this report does not address specific information technology (IT) requirements for voting machine hardware, software, or the design of pre-election testing ballots and system programming. And while we consider some minimum cybersecurity best practices, we do not analyze specific cyberinfrastructure or system programming requirements. These technical standards and protocols deserve analysis by computer scientists and IT professionals who have the necessary expertise to adequately assess the sufficiency of state requirements in those specialized areas."
The state should be applauded for its adherence to minimum cybersecurity best practices related to voter registration systems and its statewide use of paper ballots, but Alaska’s post-election audit procedures are lacking important criteria. The audit does not currently include UOCAVA ballots and the total number of ballots included in the audit is based on a fixed amount, rather than a statistically significant number tied to the margin of victory in one or more ballot contests. Adding to this is the fact that Alaska allows voters stationed or living overseas to return voted ballots electronically, a practice that election security experts say is notoriously insecure. Unlike most states, Alaska allows all absentee voters—not just UOCAVA voters—to return voted ballots via fax. Alaska’s broad allowance of the practice leaves it vulnerable to Election Day problems. Alaska did receive points for requiring election officials to carry out pre-election logic and accuracy testing on all machines that will be used in an upcoming election.
To improve its overall election security, Alaska should expand its audit requirements to ensure that UOCAVA ballots—delivered by mail—are included in the audit, and base the number of ballots selected for the audit on a statistically significant number tied to margins of victory rather than a flat percentage. Additionally, even though all voting machines currently in use either meet or exceed the EAC’s Voluntary Voting System Guidelines, state law should explicitly require that all future voting machines abide by EAC standards. The state should also prohibit absentee voters from returning voted ballots electronically. Going forward, all voted ballots should be returned by mail (or in person).
Minimum cybersecurity standards for voter registration system: Good
The state’s voter registration system was replaced with a new system in 2015. The new system went live November 2015.
The state’s voter registration system provides access control to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to the database.
The state’s voter registration system has logging capabilities to track modifications to the database.
The state’s voter registration system includes an intrusion detection system that monitors incoming and outgoing traffic for irregularities.
The state performs regular vulnerability assessments on its voter registration system.
The state has enlisted DHS to help assess and identify potential threats to its voter registration system.
The state provides cybersecurity training to election officials at the state level.
The state does not use electronic poll books, and therefore was not graded on e-poll book best practices.
Voter-verified paper audit trail: Good
The state’s main method of voting is with paper ballots. While each polling place is provided with a DRE machine with VVPR, those machines are intended for voters with disabilities.
Post-election audits: Fair
The state conducts mandatory post-election audits.
The state’s post-election audits are conducted through manual hand count.
The State Ballot Counting Review Board selects one precinct that accounts for at least 5 percent of the votes cast in each house district.
The precincts included in the audit are randomly selected.
UOCAVA ballots are not eligible for auditing.
State law requires that if there is a discrepancy of more than a 1 percent, all ballots for the district must be hand counted.
Audit results are publicly available.
State law requires that audits begin no later than 16 days after an election, prior to certification.
An audit can reverse the preliminary outcome of an audited contest if an error is detected.
Ballot accounting and reconciliation: Fair
All ballots are accounted for at the precinct level.
Precincts are required to compare and reconcile the number of ballots with the number of voters who signed in at the polling place.
The Director of Elections, with the assistance and in the presence of the State Ballot Counting Review Board, reviews precinct vote tallies and compares them to countywide results for any discrepancies.
• There is no statutorily mandated review process to ensure that all voting machine memory cards have been properly loaded onto the tally server at the county level.
State law requires that election results and ballot reconciliation information be posted online for public review
Paper absentee ballots: Unsatisfactory
The state allows any absentee voter to return voted ballots electronically. However, “in light of recent cyber threats to election systems,” the state is in the process of adopting regulations that would prohibit absentee voters from returning completed ballots through a web portal “until a more secure solution is available.” Absentee voters will still be allowed to return voted ballots by fax.
Voting machine certification requirements: Fair
State law does not require voting machines to meet federal requirements before they are purchased and used in elections in the state. The state can consider federal standards in purchasing and authorizing the use of voting machines, but there is no requirement to do so. In practice, all voting machines currently in use meet the federal standards.
Some jurisdictions in the state likely still use voting machines that were purchased more than a decade ago.
Pre-election logic and accuracy testing: Fair
Election officials conduct mandatory logic and accuracy testing on all voting machines prior to an election.
The law does not specifically require that testing be open to public observance.
Testing is carried out two months prior to an election.