HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Nearly every state, including Connecticut, has accepted a help request from the Department of Homeland Security to assist in election security efforts. DHS is scanning election systems for cyber-security vulnerabilities. Officials here said it’s only a precaution and that there’s no credible threat to our election Tuesday, since the actual votes are still handled the old fashioned way.
Four days from election, security at the ballot box doesn’t seem to concern many Connecticut voters we spoke to Friday in Hartford.
“I really don’t have any (concerns),” said John Reilly of Fairfield. “It is what it is. I don’t think the election is in jeopardy in anyway.”
And he shouldn’t be concerned, is the message coming from the Connecticut Secretary of the State office.
“The actual on the ground election would be very hard to, if not impossible to affect,” said James Spallone, deputy Secretary of the State.
That’s because our ballots filed on election day are not network or Internet-based in any way. They’re counted independently, with oversight by voter registrars, head moderators and poll workers in all 169 cities and towns in the state.
“Our elections are conducted with paper ballots that are read by tabulators,” Spallone said. “In (all) 750 polling places in state, we have a decentralized system.”
However, the statewide voter registration files are network-based. But they’re housed in a closed system, which is harder to penetrate. As a precaution to protect voter data, the Department of Homeland Security offered its services to the states this election season. Connecticut welcomed their support.
“DHS has offered its support to check on any pings or touches from outside entities trying to get into the state system,” Spallone said.