* 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. 

 

Louisiana Technology in Use
Verified Voting Foundation

* Note that "Paper Ballot" in the map below typically designates paper ballots counted by an electronic scanning device. 

Click for Verified Voting's interactive map

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Center for American Progress State by State Voting System Report

See State Grade Below
 

Report Excerpt:

"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."

Louisiana: D

Louisiana adheres to a number of minimum cybersecurity best practices related to voter registration systems, but the state allows voting using machines that do not provide a paper record and fails to mandate post-election audits, which does not provide confirmation that ballots are cast as the voter intends and counted as cast. Louisiana also allows voters stationed or living overseas to return voted ballots electronically, a practice that election security experts say is notoriously insecure. The state did receive points for requiring that voting machines be tested to EAC Voluntary Voting System Guidelines before being purchased or used in the state and for requiring election officials to conduct pre-election logic and accuracy testing on all voting machines that will be used in an upcoming election.

Louisiana’s use of paperless DRE machines and failure to carry out post-election audits that test the accuracy of election outcomes leaves it open to undetected hacking and other Election Day problems. Given the threat posed by sophisticated nation-states seeking to disrupt U.S. elections, it is imperative that post-election audits test the accuracy of election outcomes and detect any possible manipulation. Encouragingly, we were told that Louisiana is seeking bids for new voting technology that will include a voter-verified paper audit trail, which—if combined with robust post-election audits—would greatly improve the state’s overall election security. Furthermore, Louisiana should prohibit electronic absentee voting, even for UOCAVA voters. Going forward, all voted ballots should be returned by mail or delivered in person.

Minimum cybersecurity standards for voter registration system: Fair

  • The state’s voter registration system is estimated to be at least 10 years old. However, the system receives regular cybersecurity updates and maintenance several times each year.

  • 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. Louisiana receives a D 89 Center for American Progress | Election Security in All 50 States.

  • 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.

  • State officials have met with local and regional representatives from DHS to discuss the possibility of performing future audits to identify vulnerabilities but has not yet received assistance. According to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office, the state has not received DHS assistance because such assistance would be duplicative of the state’s own in-house capabilities.

  • The state provides annual cybersecurity training to election officials.

  • The state does not use electronic poll books, and therefore was not graded on e-poll book best practices


Voter-verified paper audit trail: Unsatisfactory

  • Elections are carried out using paperless DRE machines. However, Louisiana has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for new voting technology that will include a voter verified paper ballot.


Post-election audits: Unsatisfactory

  • State law does not require post-election audits.


Ballot accounting and reconciliation: Fair

  • Ballots are fully 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.

  • Counties are required to compare and reconcile precinct totals with countywide results to ensure that they add up to the correct amount.

  • 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. However, Louisiana’s tally system will not complete the election and produce an unofficial turnout statistic until all machine memory cards for a county have been properly loaded or hand entered.

  • While state law requires that election results be made public, while ballot reconciliation procedures are performed during open public meetings.

Paper absentee ballots: Unsatisfactory

  • Louisiana permits UOCAVA voters to submit completed ballots electronically via fax.

Voting machine certification requirements: Fair

  • Before being purchased and used for any election in the state, all voting machines must undergo testing by a federally accredited laboratory.

  • Some jurisdictions in Louisiana still use voting machines that were purchased in 2005, more than a decade ago. However, the machines’ firmware has been upgraded twice since 2005, while the machines’ software has been updated each year since the time of purchase

Pre-election logic and accuracy testing: Fair

  • Election officials conduct mandatory logic and accuracy testing on all voting machines prior to an election.

  • Testing is open to the public.

  • Testing is carried out at least 36 hours before an election.






 

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