February 6, 2023

Are voting-machine modems truly divorced from the Internet?

(This article is written jointly with my colleague Kyle Jamieson, who specializes in wireless networks.) [See also: The myth of the hacker-proof voting machine] The ES&S model DS200 optical-scan voting machine has a cell-phone modem that it uses to upload election-night results from the voting machine to the “county central” canvassing computer.  We know it’s […]

My testimony before the House Subcommittee on IT

I was invited to testify yesterday before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Information Technology, at a hearing entitled “Cybersecurity: Ensuring the Integrity of the Ballot Box.”  My written testimony is available here.  My 5-minute opening statement went as follows: My name is Andrew Appel.  I am Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University.   […]

Which voting machines can be hacked through the Internet?

Over 9000 jurisdictions (counties and states) in the U.S. run elections with a variety of voting machines: optical scanners for paper ballots, and direct-recording “touchscreen” machines.  Which ones of them can be hacked to make them cheat, to transfer votes from one candidate to another? The answer:  all of them.  An attacker with physical access […]

A response to the National Association of Secretaries of State

Election administration in the United States is largely managed state-by-state, with a small amount of Federal involvement. This generally means that each state’s chief election official is that state’s Secretary of State. Their umbrella organization, the National Association of Secretaries of State, consequently has a lot of involvement in voting issues, and recently issued a […]

Voting technology issues in Virginia on election day

I spent Election Day in one of the command centers for the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline. The command center was accepting calls from New Jersey, Maryland, DC, and Virginia, but 95% of the technology issues were from Virginia. I was the designated “technology guy”, so pretty much everything that came through that center came to me. This […]