How your vote in Indiana is secure

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Many Hoosiers will head out to the polls to vote early. Some will vote on Election Day, Nov. 6.

But, do you know for sure that your vote is safe?

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said Thursday, “Voters, we have done everything we possibly can do here in Indiana to secure your vote. I’d like you to know first of all, our voting machines are tested before they’re ever used here in Indiana.” 

Lawson said Ball State University tests all Indiana voting equipment via its voting oversight program.

Plus, she said, every county tests by simulating an election. “They will vote on the machines to make sure the machines are recording the votes and that the votes cast for each candidate are correct,” Lawson said.

She said the U.S Department of Homeland Security also did a two-week risk and vulnerability test. Basically, the feds made sure there are not any ways for someone to connect to the state’s voter registration system and staffers passwords are strong. 

“In fact they tried to penetrate our statewide voter registration system as a test, and they could not get in, because we are using a two-factor authentication,” the Indiana secretary of state said. 

A two-factor authentication means after staffers enter their username and password, they get an email or text with a six-digit number to verify it’s them at the computer. 

“So, I feel good,” Lawson said. “If the Department of Homeland Security couldn’t access statewide voter registration system, I don’t think the hackers will know how to get in.”

The state’s online voter registration system also has intrusion detection technology. “What that does is it detects traffic and people that try to access the statewide voter registration system. It sends a signal back to the Department of Homeland Security so they can immediately contact us,” Lawson said. 

Luckily, no one’s tried to intrude, Lawson said. 

Lawson said all the state’s online databases and election websites are frequently copied. “It’s updated about every 3-10 minutes. So, it’s always current. It protects the actual database.”

Also, every vote cast in Indiana on one of the machines has a paper trail, and none of the voting or tabulation machines are connected to the internet, Lawson said. 

Finally, if you were taken off the voter registration database by accident, you can still vote, Lawson said. She said all you have to do is go to the polls, sign an affidavit certifying your address and stating your intent to vote from that residence.

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