Election Systems in the Headlines

computer security

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the security of our nation’s election systems – from the cyber attacks on Arizona and Illinois – to political rhetoric about election rigging – to the Department of Homeland Security considering a “critical infrastructure” designation for election systems.

So, you might be wondering, how safe are King County’s election systems? And the answer is, pretty darn safe. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • We maintain our own voter registration system. Yes, it talks to the state’s, but they are completely independent from each other. Every day we are looking at what’s coming in (additions, deletions or changes to voter registration records) and would immediately notice any voter registration activity that is out-of-the-ordinary. We also continuously maintain a back-up so that if we do spot something unusual, we are able to fix the problem without disruption.
  • The voter registration database has absolutely nothing to do with counting ballots. Our tabulation system is on a closed network that is not connected to the outside world. To breach it, one would have to be inside the building and we have all sorts of security protocols – from 24-hour live-streamed surveillance to biometric access – that keep our equipment secure.

So, while we need to stay vigilant, we’ve got great processes and systems in place. So you can vote with confidence!