Voting Machine Vendors Stress-Test Systems Ahead of 2024 Elections

Kamso Oguejiofor-Abugu Kamso Oguejiofor-Abugu Writer

In a proactive move to combat election misinformation and conspiracy theories, major US voting equipment manufacturers have initiated a cybersecurity stress-testing program. The program aims to provide greater transparency into the security measures in place for voting systems, especially as the 2024 presidential election approaches.

The move comes in a climate of heightened scrutiny and misinformation surrounding voting systems. In the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, vendors like Dominion Voting Systems faced death threats fueled by false claims that their machines were used to rig the election. According to a CNN poll in July, 69% of Republicans and Republican leaners still believe that President Joe Biden’s 2020 win was illegitimate.

The test initiative was announced last Wednesday and involves three leading voting equipment vendors — Election Systems & Software (ES&S), Hart InterCivic, and Unisyn. These companies have granted a team of vetted cybersecurity researchers access to their hardware and software for an intensive two-day testing period.

During the testing, researchers attempted various attack scenarios, including trying to stuff ballot boxes and disable electronic poll books used at polling stations. While the results are still under review, vendors have already begun making adjustments to their security protocols based on preliminary findings.

“I give a lot of credit to the vendors that are here and the election officials because they’re literally getting death threats as a result of what may come about from a shared disclosure,” said Matt Masterson, a former top election security official at the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency, on Wednesday at the event hosted by Mitre Corp., a federally funded nonprofit.

With the 2024 election on the horizon, this new layer of security testing aims to bolster public confidence and counter the rampant misinformation that has plagued recent elections. Chris Wlaschin, the top cybersecurity executive at ES&S, described the initiative as “the next step, the next layer of security” and a move toward greater transparency.

About the Author

About the Author

Kamso Oguejiofor is a former Content Writer at SafetyDetectives. He has over 2 years of experience writing and editing topics about cybersecurity, network security, fintech, and information security. He has also worked as a freelance writer for tech, health, beauty, fitness, and gaming publications, and he has experience in SEO writing, product descriptions/reviews, and news stories. When he’s not studying or writing, he likes to play basketball, work out, and binge watch anime and drama series.