English Spanish


Fasteners • Electronic Hardware • Design Solutions

Press Room

How Serious an Issue is Election Voter Hacking?

Current Events

Cyber security experts have long established that hostile foreign governments influenced the American 2016 presidential election. With the midterm 2018 elections on the near horizon, these same experts are working furiously to prevent this same threat from occurring again. They are taking the issue of election voter hacking seriously and making strides every day to ensure that the upcoming elections are as secure from foreign influence as possible.

The Risk of Hacking Actual Votes

According to cyber security experts, the risk of foreign parties hacking into and stealing actual votes is minimal at best. In fact, individual votes may be the most secure aspect of the upcoming elections simply because the hundreds of voting districts across the U.S. all use different machines and systems. While technically a foreign player may be able to hack into some machines, the risk of hacking into enough machines to actually sway the numerical outcome of an election is relatively small.

Still, the fact that a few dozen machines could possibly be hacked into could be enough to call into question the validity of the election. If it can be proven that some districts' machines were compromised, the foreign influence could succeed in putting doubt into voters' heads about the legitimacy of a declared winner. Voters may not believe the hacking attempt was relatively contained and not as widespread as hostile influences would have them believe.

Further, a handful of cyber security experts say that more machines could be compromised than originally imagined. They say that because voting machine parts like chips are made in countries like China that the machines could easily be manipulated by manufacturers or the countries in which they are located. Further, the hack jobs could be done remotely from overseas without voting officials in the U.S being aware of it until after the election is concluded.

While worries exist about the security of actual votes, the greater worry with cyber security experts falls with the websites used by candidates or political parties. Because the websites are on the Internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they can easily be hacked into and manipulated.

The ease of manipulation was demonstrated by none other than a handful of children at the 2018 Def Con. Cyber security leaders gave basic hacking instructions to children and then allowed them access to the election websites of 13 battleground states. Most children succeeded in hacking into and manipulating the websites. In fact, one 11-year old girl hacked into and changed the content on a website in 10 minutes.

Prevention with Awareness and Technology

Given the ease with which websites if not voting machines themselves can be hacked into, it is little wonder that states across the country have ramped up their security measures to protect the outcome of the upcoming midterm election. Among other measures, many states are now implementing technology called Albert sensors, which cost $5000 and are made by the Center for Internet Security. These sensors detect the threat of hacking and alert authorities in time to prevent votes from being changed or stolen.

Likewise, statistics show that counties and states have quadrupled the number of sensors placed within their voting networks. Unlike the 2016 election, the upcoming midterm election could be more difficult to manipulate thanks to the use of sensors within the machines and voting networks. If an attempt is made to steal or change election website content or votes counted on the machines themselves, authorities should know in plenty of time to respond.

Finally, efforts are being made to back up and record every single vote on paper. Even if a voter uses a computerized machine to cast his or her vote, that vote will also be recorded on paper. This backup plan will prevent the legitimacy of an election or the declared winner from being called into question.

Most states across the country are taking the threat of vote hacking seriously. They want to avoid the debacle experienced during the 2016 presidential elections during which foreign influences manipulated websites and votes. They are ramping up security with new technology and a paper ballot backup system to safeguard every vote that will be cast in every county and state.