Nevada groups promote election security on nationwide day of action

by Suzanne Potter, Nevada News Service

Photo: the Ally

CARSON CITY, Nev. – Nevada has made big strides toward safeguarding the ballot box, but still has a ways to go, according to a new report on election security.

Hear an audio report.

The “Citizen’s Report On Election Security in Northern Nevada and the Nation” will be released Tuesday as part of a nationwide day of action, with events in dozens of cities to draw attention to the real possibility of more attempts by foreign actors to hack our elections. Laura Hale, a volunteer on the Fair Democracy team with Indivisible Northern Nevada, commended the state’s recent efforts to upgrade all its election machines.

“In every county, in addition to the new machines and the paper records, we want to see audits being done,” Hale said. “We want to see that the databases are secured.”

U.S. intelligence agencies have determined Russian hackers tried to penetrate the voting systems of all 50 states in 2016 and have warned they are likely to try again in 2020.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 2722 – dubbed the SAFE Act – which bans electronic voting systems that lack a paper backup and helps fix vulnerable software for voter-registration databases and websites that report election-night results. Hale said she’s disappointed the Senate majority leader has refused to bring it to a vote in the upper chamber.

“Mitch McConnell needs to move on some of the legislation that has been put on his desk – including one that will put $600 million to states so that they can update their electronic voting equipment with systems that use verifiable paper ballots,” she said.

Secure the Vote rallies across the country today also are aimed at getting Congress to include funding for election security in the 2020 federal budget currently under negotiation. The deadline to pass a budget or approve a continuing resolution is September 30.