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Floyd County clerk outlines election security

Note: The following is a reprint of an article that ran in the News and Tribune on September 24, 2018.

FLOYD COUNTY — In advance of the 2018 General Election and considering law enforcement reports of foreign cyber-attacks on state election systems, Floyd County Clerk Christy Eurton is working to ensure confidence in the local election system.

“Ensuring our Election system is secure has been a paramount priority for my administration,” Eurton stated in a news release. “We want to assure Floyd County voters that the election results we report are accurate and free of cyber or other manipulation.”

“None of our voting machines are connected to the internet and, as a further measure of security, machines placed a polling locations for use by voters have been locked and sealed to prevent any kind of tampering or system interference.”

The county’s third-party vendor, RBM, also further mitigates any potential threat of malware by sanitizing USB devices used to program the machines in preparation for the election.

“Another key aspect of our system is the generation of a paper ballot,” Eurton stated. “After making their selections, voters can review their printed ballot prior to casting it and, in the event of a contested election or system failure, election officials can depend on the printed ballots to audit the results.”

The tabulator used to record and secure the ballot also has several security measures in place, including creating an image of every ballot cast when deposited.

While the county does use electronic poll books linked via the internet to verify an individual’s registration status, the list and transmissions are secured by a statewide system. The voter list is also routinely backed-up to ensure that in the event of a cyber-attack, system failure, or other infrastructure issue, the list is preserved.

“Not all counties in Indiana utilize this same technology,” said Eurton. “For example, less than half of Indiana counties use paper back-up ballots.”

“The bottom line is that Floyd County has a safe, secure and reliable voting system.”

For more information visit floydcountyclerk.org.

Adam Dickey