Emergency Petition to ELECTIONS OFFICIALS:
Secure and Defend American Elections Systems before 2020
To the National Association of Secretaries of State, and the National Association of State Election Directors:
Cyber security experts and amateur hackers have repeatedly demonstrated that U.S. electronic voting systems remain vulnerable to undetectable manipulation that can change election results and violate voting rights.
Meanwhile, national security experts are issuing strong warnings that foreign actors are planning to penetrate our voting systems in all 50 States in the 2020 election.
The control and oversight of elections rests with the states. Therefore, it is essential that states immediately prepare to follow best security practices identified by computer scientists, national security leaders, and bipartisan experts in elections administration.
The following are requirements for election security that must be immediately implemented in every voting jurisdiction before 2020.
(1) PAPER BALLOTS: Replace any paperless touchscreen voting machines with scanning systems that count a hand marked paper ballot - a physical record of the vote that is out of reach from cyber attacks.
(2) POST-ELECTION AUDITS: Officials must conduct robust post-election audits of the paper ballots in public before the election is certified. Risk-limiting audits provide a high assurance that the electronic ballot scanner results were accurate.
(3) PROHIBIT WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY IN VOTING MACHINES: Many states’ voting machines include wireless modems which transmit their unofficial results over the Internet. Some states allow their vote tabulation computers to be connected to the Internet. This increases the vulnerability of those systems to hacking.
(4) UPGRADE ALL ELECTRONIC SECURITY SYSTEMS: Ensure that states' election websites, registration systems, and election night reporting systems are defended against threats of intrusion and manipulation.
(5) PROVIDE SUFFICIENT ELECTRONIC BALLOT MARKING DEVICES FOR DISABLED VOTERS: Due to security concerns, these devices should be used only for those who request assistive technology.
(6) TRAIN AND EDUCATE ELECTION OFFICIALS AT ALL LEVELS ON HOW TO INCORPORATE SECURITY INTO THEIR ELECTIONS PRACTICES
They are essential to a robust set of principles and practices of democratic elections, and are supported by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, a group of 100 leading computer scientists and other election administration experts, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
We, the undersigned, are United States citizens who also support these cost-effective solutions to ensure our elections have security, transparency, public oversight, and verified results.
We demand that state and local elections officials take these steps to safeguard the voters of your jurisdiction and the sanctity of election results using proven best practices.