* 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. 

 

Mississippi 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."

Mississippi: D

Mississippi adheres to recommended 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. Adding to this is the fact that Mississippi allows voters stationed or living overseas to return voted ballots electronically, a practice that election security experts say is notoriously insecure. Mississippi did earn points for its state’s ballot accounting and reconciliation procedures and for requiring that all voting machines be tested to EAC Voluntary Voting System Guidelines. Additionally, Mississippi requires election officials to conduct pre-election logic and accuracy testing on all machines that will be used in an upcoming election.

To improve its overall election security, Mississippi should switch over to a paper ballot voting system and require post-election audits that test the accuracy of election results. The state’s reliance on machines that do not provide a paper record and its failure to conduct robust post-election audits even in jurisdictions with a voter-verified paper audit trail leave the state open to undetected hacking and other Election Day problems. In conducting post-election audits, the state should look to risk-limiting audits like those in Colorado as a potential model. 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. Mississippi should also prohibit electronic absentee voting—even by UOCAVA voters, who are currently permitted to return voted ballots by email or fax. All voted ballots should be returned by mail or delivered in person. By making these changes, Mississippi will dramatically improve the security of its elections.

Minimum cybersecurity standards for voter registration system: Fair

  • The state’s voter registration system is estimated to be at least 10 years old.

  • The state’s voter registration system provides access control to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to the database. Mississippi receives a D 108 Center for American Progress | Election Security in All 50 States

  • The state’s voter registration system has logging capabilities to track modifications to the database.

  • The state performs regular vulnerability assessments on its voter registration system.

  • The state’s voter registration system includes an intrusion detection system that monitors incoming and outgoing traffic for irregularities.

  • The state has carried out DHS recommendations for protecting voter registration systems and election infrastructure.

  • The state provides annual cybersecurity training to election officials.

  • Electronic poll books are used by only a handful—approximately five to seven—of counties in the state. Pre-election testing of electronic poll books are conducted by the counties. Paper poll books are available at polling places that use electronic poll books on Election Day


Voter-verified paper audit trail: Unsatisfactory

  • Depending on the jurisdiction, some voters in Mississippi cast paper ballots, while others vote using DRE machines. Some DRE machines in the state produce a VVPR, while others are entirely paperless.


Post-election audits: Unsatisfactory

  • Mississippi’s use of paperless DRE machines prevents it from carrying out audits that can confirm the accuracy of election outcomes. After certification of election results, Mississippi sometimes carries out a hand-to-eye count of absentee envelopes and applications.


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.

  • 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.

  • The state requires that all election results and reconciliation procedures are subject to public record requests.

Paper absentee ballots: Unsatisfactory

  • The state permits UOCAVA voters to submit completed ballots electronically, via email or fax.

 

Voting machine certification requirements: Fair

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

  • Some jurisdictions in the state likely still use voting machines that were pur- chased 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.

  • Testing is open to the public.

  • Testing occurs at least two days before an election.






 

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