Cybersecurity concerns persist as Election Day nears

Indiana was one of five states to earn a failing grade in an election security assessment this year.

Posted: Aug. 27, 2018 10:00 PM
Updated: Aug. 27, 2018 10:39 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Voters are, once again, preparing to head to the ballot box as concerns over election tampering persist.

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson says she is taking steps to ensure every vote is protected but her opponent Jim Harper insists more should be done.

The Republican incumbent recently announced plans to use more than $7.5 million in federal funding to beef up election security but the Democrat challenger says it's a mistake the plan does not include improvements to voting machines.

News 10 spoke with candidate Jim Harper while he was in Terre Haute speaking with voters and stumping with other Democrat candidates.

Harper says voting machines should be replaced so there is a "paper trail." He explains votes should be cast on paper ballots or voters should be given a verified receipt. Not every Indiana election machine issues receipts.

Secretary Lawson says there is not enough money to replace machines statewide.

Jim Harper says, "We have important elections coming up in Indiana in two and a half months and we should be focusing on securing our elections this year and if the money that's available isn't enough to fix the problem in every county, we should at least be using is to fix the problem in as many counties as possible."

Secretary Lawson is assuring voters their ballots are safe.

"We take great care to prepare our election administrators for each cycle, and in partnership with counties, other states, and the federal government we are developing new answers to security concerns and election policy."

Secretary Lawson explains election equipment like machines and tabulators are not connected to the internet and everything is tested before votes are cast.

Indiana was one of five states to earn a failing grade in an election security assessment this year.

Election Day is November 6th. People can register to vote by October 9th.

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