Election Officials Recertify State Voting Machines

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Many electronic voting machines that will
be used in the Nov. 6 election could be susceptible to security
problems, according to a report released Tuesday by Kentucky
Attorney General Greg Stumbo.
Still, Stumbo and Secretary of State Trey Grayson both agreed
there has yet to be a problem in Kentucky and said voters shouldn't
worry.
"It's not cause for alarm," Stumbo said. "There's been no
documented breaches of any of our machines in Kentucky that have
been in use, it's simply precautionary."
Stumbo's report was prompted by studies in California and
Florida that found certain voting machines - some of which are used
in Kentucky - were vulnerable to hackers.
At the University of California, computer experts found that
voting results could be altered. A Florida State University study
also found that some voting machines there had security issues that
could have allowed poll workers to tamper with election results.
Grayson said there were no existing security problems with the
current voting machines in Kentucky.
The State Board of Elections on Tuesday re-certified the bulk of
machines that will be used on Election Day in Kentucky's 120
counties.
State election officials decided to re-examine most of
Kentucky's voting machines at Stumbo's request, Grayson said. While
officials were confident about the process, they wanted to give
voters added assurance, Grayson said.
"We want to have 100 percent voter confidence," Grayson said.
Nevertheless, Stumbo said the potential exists for someone to
hack into certain electronic voting machines and disrupt an
election in Kentucky. There are, Stumbo said, specific software
upgrades that could be made to beef up security on election day.
The report recommended, among other things, that the machines'
manufacturers correct any potential flaws at no cost to the state.
"There's no documented proof that these machines that are in
place or are being used have failed," Stumbo said. "But in other
states, most notably California and Florida, extensive studies have
been done about the potential for failure."
Gov. Ernie Fletcher, a Republican, is seeking a second term in
the upcoming election and facing opposition from Democrat Steve
Beshear.
Grayson, a Republican, is among several candidates seeking
constitutional offices in November.
Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins said Kentucky had one of the
best voting systems in the country, and voters should believe in
its integrity heading into the fall contest.
"We're talking about pre-emption here of anything that could go
wrong," Blevins said. "There's no documentation of wrongdoing or
machine failure in Kentucky to date."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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