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Sun Jul 28, 2019, 12:13 PM

From DEF CON 2018 -- 12 Actions To Secure National Elections before 2020. Yes, We Can.

12 actions to secure national elections. This can be done before 2020. This info seems relevant to the primaries threads, too, but they're probably only focused on candidates and party issues.

This is structural. Still.

-- Safeguard Voting Equipment--

1. Implement universal use of paper ballots, marked by hand and read by optical scanner, ensuring a voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT).

2. Phase out touch-screen voting machines – especially the most vulnerable direct-recording electronic (DRE) devices

3. Update pollbooks used to check in voters.

4. Verify voting results by requiring election officials to
conduct “Risk-Limiting Audits” (RLAs), a statistical post- election audit before certification of final results.

-- Protect Voting Networks and Databases --

5. Secure voting infrastructure, especially voter registration databases, using time-tested cyber hygiene tools such as the CIS “20 Critical Security Controls” or
NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework.

6. Call upon outside experts to conduct cyber assessments – DHS,
white-hat hackers,
cybersecurity vendors and
security researchers – where needed.

7. Provide resources and training to state and local election leaders for cyber maintenance and on-going monitoring.

8. Promote information-sharing on cyber threats and incidents in and across the entire voting industry.

-- Coordinate With All Stakeholders --

9. Appropriate federal funding to states to
implement infrastructure upgrades,
audits, and
cyber hygiene measures.

10. Establish clear channels for coordination between
state, and
federal agencies, including
real-time sharing of threat and intelligence information.

11. Maintain DHS’s designation of elections as a Critical Infrastructure Subsector.

12. Require DHS to institute a pre-election threat assessment plan to bolster its technical support capacity to state and locals requesting assistance.

Congress shouldn't just suggest any of this for DHS, they should mandate it and monitor it.


I'm not even suggesting that no one in government is doing anything. It only appeared that way as of 2018.

Since then, I'd like to believe that high quality journalism sites are keeping an eye on actions this government is taking to insure free and fair elections.

If you doubt it is, consider our current context:

Do you actually think that those who are firewalling, or
buying all new voting machine equipment, or
using security industry tech
are going to tell this to the American public so that hackers of the world know it?

It's often our military's and government's strategy to appear stupider, slower, more vulnerable than we are. Even if our govt really IS vulnerable, at times.

Even if we see state level cheaters from recent elections in GA;
even if we see that the Senate won't pass "fixes" for the election system,
we citizens can still keep our radar out for changes being made at state levels, stay calm, watch and see who's doing what out there. And not believe the hype.

IMO, we must pay attention to any structural progress made to improve our election system.

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Reply From DEF CON 2018 -- 12 Actions To Secure National Elections before 2020. Yes, We Can. (Original post)
ancianita Jul 2019 OP
ancianita Jul 2019 #1
trev Jul 2019 #2
ancianita Jul 2019 #3
ancianita Jul 2019 #4
ancianita Jul 2019 #5
trev Jul 2019 #6

Response to ancianita (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2019, 12:22 PM

1. Congressmen at DEF CON 2017.

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Response to ancianita (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2019, 12:35 PM

2. Some negative thoughts....

Point 1. How can we make such an implementation when the Senate won't even vote on it? And even if they do, it's a given it'll not pass.

Point 2. The voting machines are not going away. The Democrats tried to stop them when they were first introduced, to no avail.

Point 6. Yeah, I really trust Trump's DHS to get right on this.

Point 9. See Point 1.

Point 12. See Point 6.

Anyone got solutions?

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Response to trev (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 28, 2019, 12:49 PM

3. Fair points. Anyone?

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Response to ancianita (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 28, 2019, 01:05 PM

4. While we're waiting, I'll comment on the congress persons.

In 2017, Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI, seated), and Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX, right) went to DEF CON to learn more about voting vulnerabilities.

(Beau Woods and Josh Corman of the Atlantic Council are on the left.)

Why don't we have more congress people going to the Voting Village in 2019?

It's during Congress August break, for chrissake!

It's from Thu, Aug 8, 2019 – Sun, Aug 11, 2019.

I'll happily call my congress people to attend. I'll remind them that going is better than making excuses at their local townhalls.

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Response to trev (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 28, 2019, 01:24 PM

5. One solution is to start with The People. All elections, but this one in particular, are tests of

our on-the-ground capacities for democratic awareness, vigilance, communications, pressure and protest.

If Rachel says we should watch what they do, not what they say, I'd add that
we should watch what we do and not what we say.

Does everything have to get perfect federal or monetary support to be doable?

Point 1. Fuck 'em. We can do it at state levels through a couple of means. It costs nothing for states to sweep out their voting machinery. That costs nothing. Then pay the cost of a replacement paper balloting system with a one-shot tax increase. And donors.

Point 2. They can be trashed and new ones purchased. Or replaced by paper balloting. The safety and strength of blockchain voting has also been considered.

Points 6, 9, 12, I hear you.

So here is a starting point.

We start the pressure at state levels. You can begin with yours, and everyone else here can begin with theirs. https://ballotpedia.org/State_election_agencies

The bottom line: if solutions are not perfect everywhere, all the time, can we excuse ourselves from saving our democracy?

Democracy just won't run itself.

We're at this point because too many of the comfortable have not been afflicted, and too many have not afflicted the comfortable.

We can protest, though we've seen that there've been no protests over electoral hacking, so that's not happening.

We can make calls, though, to our state voting commissions. Can't we. Yes We Can.

Now your turn. Do you have any solutions?

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Response to ancianita (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 28, 2019, 06:03 PM

6. I like your ideas. I'm very much in favor of grassroots efforts.

But I asked my original question because, well, I don't have solutions. I'm very new at political activism; I've only just started. I attended my very first rally on 15 June--and loved it. It felt right. I've since done some letter writing, and plan to do more.

But I need guidance.

Yours is a good place to start.


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