US to implement new voting technology to protect next election

The system will be completed just in time for the 2024 elections.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Voting systems need protection.jpg
Voting systems need protection.

Black Salmon/iStock 

The U.S. nonprofit Center for Internet Security (CIS) is in the midst of creating a national testing program for technology central to elections' voting systems that will be launched later this year, according to a report published Sunday by The Public’s Radio.

So far, states have been monitoring individually the technology responsible for election operations but CIS hopes to change that by providing the nation's first uniform testing program in September 2023, right before the 2024 presidential election.

“This is a critical need being filled at a critical time,” told The Public’s Radio Chris Wlaschin, senior vice president for Election Systems & Software, a leading voting machine manufacturer that also produces electronic pollbooks. “I think as more election officials learn about it, the more they’re going to ask for it.”

How the new testing program will affect the 2024 presidential election remains to be seen as it relies heavily on how many state election offices will use it. However, there is a wide-ranging initial interest in the new tech.

“One of the major benefits of this program is that it will provide a consistent process for certification for all of the different states that adopt it,” Jamie Remes with VR Systems, a provider of electronic pollbooks and election management systems, said during a recent event organized to discuss the testing program.

Some competition

The new tech does have some competition as the federal commission is pursuing its own testing program for electronic pollbooks. However, these efforts are not advanced enough to be put in place before the 2024 election.

And elections need a solution immediately, especially as the use of electronic systems has grown in recent years, attracting those seeking to mess with the U.S. elections.

Experts warn that the systems could be prime targets for those wanting to disrupt voting and spread doubts about the security of elections. Those helping with the new security technology testing program say the system already has had a positive effect in boosting confidence in the election tech.

“It’s not just about product testing," told The Public's Radio Jared Dearing, the center’s senior director of election security and the former director of the Kentucky Board of Elections. "It’s increasing the security posture of the companies that are creating these products.”

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