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Report: Serious concerns with Virginia electronic voting machines

constitutionThe Department of Elections released the Interim Report on Voting Equipment Performance, Usage and Certification on Wednesday.

In response to the widely reported issues experienced by several voters during the November 2014 General Election, Governor McAuliffe called for an investigation into voting machine irregularities.  The Commissioner of Elections, Edgardo Cortés, presented a proposal to the State Board of Elections (SBE) to conduct the first comprehensive review undertaken of voting equipment used across the Commonwealth.  SBE unanimously approved the proposal on November 24, 2014.

The report and the Commissioners’ memo are available here: elections.virginia.gov/webdocs/VotingEquipReport.

This report identifies serious security concerns with WINVote voting equipment, particularly with the wireless capability of the system.  WINVote machines are currently used in 29 localities, including approximately 20% of the voting precincts in the Commonwealth.  The State Board has decided to hold a public meeting to consider all options available to address the significant concerns raised in the report, including decertification of the equipment.

“Protecting the integrity of Virginia’s electoral system is of the upmost concern to the Department and the State Board of Elections,” said CommissionerCortés.  “The State Board is currently considering all options to address the serious security concerns uncovered by the Department, including possible decertification of the WINVote touchscreen machines.  The Department and the Board remain committed to working with the affected localities to ensure that the June primaries are properly administered and Virginians’ confidence in the election process is maintained.”

The Department of Elections and the State Board of Elections, pursuant to the Code of Virginia  § 24.2-103, are charged with supervising and coordinating the work of local electoral boards and registrars in order to obtain uniformity in practices used across the Commonwealth and legality and purity in all elections.  In compliance with this mandate, the Department and the State Board of Elections promote and support accurate, fair, open and secure elections for the citizens of the Commonwealth.