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Cyber security experts call for rigorous audit to protect California recall | Rynor Report

The letter from experts says an audit would provide "strong public evidence" to counter any effort to discredit the outcome.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2021 file photo, mail in ballots run through a sorting machine at the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters office in Sacramento, Calif. A group of election security experts will ask California officials, Thursday, Sept. 2, to take additional steps to protect the upcoming governor’s recall election after the unauthorized release of voting system software in other states. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif — A group of election security experts is calling on California's top election official to take an additional step to protect the upcoming gubernatorial recall

This comes after copies of systems used to run elections across the country were released at an event last month sponsored by a key ally of former President Donald Trump. 

The experts sent the letter last week to the California secretary of state calling for a rigorous type of post-election audit to be conducted statewide that can help detect malicious attempts to interfere. The letter says such an audit would provide "strong public evidence" to counter any effort to discredit the outcome.

Secretary of State Shirley Weber said her office is working closely with every local elections office and the FBI. There's also a strict testing protocol in place.

"We test every machine that's going to be used. Our folks who do the testing have come in and tested every machine to make sure that there are no bugs, that there's been no corruption or anything," Weber said.

But still, some cybersecurity experts believe more needs to be done to prove you can trust the results. In a letter written to Weber by eight cyber security experts, they asked for an audit of the recall to be done after software used in voting machines across the country were released to the public. 

They wrote that it “increases the risk of undetected outcome-changing cyber attacks on California counties that use Dominion equipment and the risk of accusations of fraud and election manipulation which, without rigorous post election auditing, would be impossible to disprove.”

"We have transparency with regard to those who want to view. In fact, some of our registered voters have created additional spaces for people to actually do the counting of the election of the ballots and so forth," Weber said.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Weber's team said the counties in California using Dominion utilize a different version, a version that wasn't publicly shared. 

The day after the election, there will be an audit, and a random selection of counties will have a manual recount which is open to the public. It's just not statewide.

However, the cyber security experts say the difference in the systems is minimal. They applaud California for the numerous procedures already in place, but they said a statewide audit after the recall will only help grow the public's trust in elections.



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