Ohio Votes Today

The day for the Ohio primary is here. With a ton of media attention focused on our state, a new voting process in place and the removal of the touch-screen systems our primary is certain to have its ups and downs today.

When we reviewed the security of the Ohio voting system, we did find some serious issues. However, the optical scanning systems from our review were less prone to problems under normal voting use than the touch screens. Therefore, we agree that the optical scanners are a more secure choice, especially in the way that our Secretary of State has outlined their use.

Voters in Ohio today should expect some lines and a small amount of confusion and hype. But, careful review of your ballot, care marking of your selections and following the published procedures should make the process easy, reliable and interesting. Our only words of caution are to ask for another ballot if you make a mistake and refrain from marking anywhere except in the square of your chosen candidate. Again, take a few moments and review the ballot before you turn it in.

The Secretary of State has taken great measures to ensure oversight and accountability for all votes and voters around our state. The various boards of election and other officials have also taken great steps toward improving the security of the process. They are all to be commended for achieving the progress we have made thus far, in such a short amount of time.

While there is still quite a bit of work to be done around electronic voting and elections security; today is a good day to look at the work we have done so far. Together, citizens, politicians and government can work to find a useful, reliable and secure way to continue the wonderful democracy that we, as Americans, enjoy.

Do your part. Vote. Stay engaged in the debate about electronic voting and don’t be afraid to let others know what you think…

Ohio Voting Systems Review (EVEREST)

MicroSolved, Inc. announced today that it has completed its assessment of the security of Ohio’s electronic voting systems. The testing, a part of project EVEREST, was lead by the Ohio Secretary of State’s office and was designed to seek a comprehensive, independent and objective assessment of the risks to elections integrity associated with Ohio’s voting systems. The project leveraged MicroSolved’s advanced methodologies and in-depth experience to perform “red team” penetration testing of the voting systems. MicroSolved emulated various attacks against the voting systems and analyzed the impact of these attacks on the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the voting systems and their elections data.

While the study revealed several critical security issues in the various elections systems, MicroSolved also identified specific strategies for mitigating or managing these risks. “By applying the identified mitigation strategies, all of the administrative stakeholders in the elections process have an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to the integrity of Ohio’s elections.”, said Brent Huston, CEO of MicroSolved. “While these strategies require hard work, significant investment in resources and continued vigilance, they represent the best approach to creating truly secure mechanisms for electronic voting in Ohio.”

“We appreciate the opportunity to participate in the EVEREST project and to help the Secretary of State further her goal of restoring trust in Ohio’s elections.”, Huston added.

For information about the specifics of the project, MicroSolved’s role and findings, please see http://www.microsolved.com/everest/.