“Voting experts warn of ‘serious threats’ for 2024 from election equipment software breaches”


An effort to access voting system software in several states and provide it to allies of former President Donald Trump as they sought to overturn the results of the 2020 election has raised “serious threats” ahead of next year’s presidential contest, according to a group of experts who urged federal agencies to investigate.

The letter sent by nearly two dozen computer scientists, election security experts and voter advocacy organizations asks for a federal probe and a risk assessment of voting machines used throughout the country, saying the software breaches have “urgent implications for the 2024 election and beyond.” The breaches affected voting equipment made by two companies that together count over 70% of the votes cast across the country, according to the letter.

“The multistate effort to unlawfully obtain copies of voting system software poses serious threats to election security and national security and constitutes a potential criminal conspiracy of enormous consequences,” the group wrote in a letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, special counsel Jack Smith, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Jen Easterly, director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. “We must protect our most sacred tenet of democracy — the security of our vote.”…

Among the 22 people who signed the letter to the federal agencies was Douglas W. Jones, a computer scientist who said the effects of the various breaches were not limited to the local election offices where they occurred because the voting system software involved is used by many offices across the country. The letter says those involved accessed equipment made by two of the leading manufacturers, Dominion Voting Systems and Election Systems & Software.

“In 2024, no matter which way the election goes, election deniers on one side or the other could easily grasp on the breaches following the 2020 election and suggest that those breaches allowed the 2024 results to be cooked,” he said.

Election technology expert Kevin Skoglund, who also signed the letter, said a federal probe was necessary because many of those involved have not been investigated or been asked to give up their copies of the election software.

“Every software copy that is reclaimed reduces the risks of further distribution, disinformation and harm to the security of future elections,” Skoglund said. “There should be consequences for widely sharing parts of our national critical infrastructure or others will be encouraged to repeat these schemes.”

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