* 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. 

 

Maryland 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."

Maryland: B

Maryland adheres to recommended minimum cybersecurity best practices related to voter registration systems and conducts its elections with paper ballots, but its failure to carry out post-election audits that test the accuracy of election outcomes leaves the state open to undetected hacking and other Election Day problems. Currently, post-election audits are conducted through electronic retabulation, rather than manual hand count. The number of ballots included in an audit is tied to a fixed amount—the greater of three randomly selected precincts with at least 300 registered voters or 5 percent of all precincts used in an election—and any error is resolved simply by retabulating the ballots with a different automated machine. Perhaps most troublesome is the fact that the results of an audit cannot reverse the preliminary outcome of an audited contest if an error is detected. The state did receive points for its ballot accounting and reconciliation procedures and for prohibiting voters stationed or living overseas from returning voted ballots electronically, a practice that election security experts say is notoriously insecure. In Maryland, all voted ballots must be returned by mail or delivered in person. The state also exercises good practices by requiring that all voting machines to be tested to EAC Voluntary Voting System Guidelines before being purchased or used in the state, and by requiring election officials to conduct pre-election logic and accuracy testing on all machines that will be used in an upcoming election.

Despite scoring well in the other six categories, Maryland should immediately update its post-election audit procedures to ensure that audits are carried out through manual hand count and tied to a statistically significant number based on the margin of victory in one or more ballot contests. To be effective, audit results must be binding on official election results, with the ability to reverse the preliminary outcome of an audited contest if an error is detected.

Minimum cybersecurity standards for voter registration system: Good

  • The state’s voter registration system is estimated to be at least 10 years old.699 However, the system’s platform has been replaced and the server and supporting hardware have been upgraded three times since its inception. According to state officials, the system’s “software is continuously being enhanced.”701 Maryland receives a B 95 Center for American Progress | Election Security in All 50 States

  • 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 and penetration testing on its voter registration system.

  • The state has enlisted DHS to help assess and identify potential threats to its voter registration system.

  • The state requires cybersecurity training for all election officials at the state and county level. The state offers monthly online trainings as well as in person classes.

  • Electronic poll books are used statewide in Maryland.709 The state conducts pre-election testing on electronic poll books prior to an election. Paper voter registration lists are available at polling places that use electronic poll books on Election Day.


Voter-verified paper audit trail: Good

  • Elections are carried out using paper ballots and optical scan machines.


Post-election audits: Unsatisfactory

  • The state conducts mandatory post-election audits.

  • The state’s post-election audits are conducted electronically through automated retabulation.

  • State law requires auditing the greater of two precincts with at least 300 registered voters or 5 percent of all precincts used in an election. Additionally, the state audited through retabulation 100 percent of the ballots cast in the 2016 election.

  • The precincts included in the audit are selected randomly.

  • All ballot types—regular, early voting, absentee, provisional, and UOCAVA— are eligible for auditing.

  • If a discrepancy of more than 0.5 percent arises, additional review and investigation is required. If upon investigating it appears to be an error in the tabulating equipment, the ballots are retabulated using a different automated machine.

  • Audit results are publicly available.

  • Audits are carried out prior to certification of official election results.

  • An audit cannot 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 state compares and reconciles precinct totals with countywide results to ensure that they add up to the correct amount.

  • State law requires a review process to ensure that all voting machine memory cards have been properly loaded onto the tally server at the county level.

  • While state law requires that election results be made public, it is unclear whether the same is true of information regarding ballot reconciliation processes and results. Election officials have made information and results from the post-election ballot tabulation audit available to the public

Paper absentee ballots: Fair

  • The state does not permit voters—including UOCAVA voters—to submit completed ballots electronically. All ballots must be returned by mail or delivered in person.

Voting machine certification requirements: Fair

  • In practice, before they may be purchased and used in the state, all voting machines must be certified by the Election Assistance Commission.

  • All voting machines in Maryland have been replaced within the past 10 years.

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.

  • Machines used during early voting must be tested at least 14 days before Election Day. For machines that will be used on Election Day and for counting absentee or provisional ballots, testing must begin at least 10 days before Election Day.






 

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