Internet Explorer 11 is not supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Hackers Stymied by Vote-by-Mail in Oregon

In place since 1988, local officials say the technology is tried and true.

(TNS) - This morning I watched a report about the vulnerability of U.S. elections to interference. According to the report, most states use voting machines that are at least 10 years old or are no longer manufactured. How safe is voting in Oregon?

— Jon

Oregon has an advantage over many other states because voters here decided to go to a vote-by-mail system in 1998, said Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker, who oversees local elections.

That eliminated the need for voting machines at polling places.

“I think we’re one of the leaders in election security,” Walker said of Oregon.

The Jackson County Elections Division does have tally equipment to count all those votes that come in by mail. But Walker said the equipment isn’t connected to the internet — a setup that thwarts would-be hackers.

Jackson County’s tally equipment is only two years old, she said.

“We try to keep up on the technology to make sure the votes are tallied the way the voter intended and to give confide once in the system,” Walker said.

Some counties in the state do have older tally equipment, including some in rural areas with low populations, she said.

However, Walker said none of those counties have tally equipment that connects to the internet.

Although Oregon’s elections are relatively secure, Walker said she and other elections officials are always working to improve the system.

“There is no perfect system anywhere in the world,” she said.

Walker and her staff members review their processes and procedures during every election cycle to look for possible improvements.

They are also in regular contact with local, state and federal agencies, including the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, she said.

Special Projects
Sponsored Stories
In this episode, Marianne Steger explains why health care for Pre-Medicare retirees and active employees just got easier.
Government organizations around the world are experiencing the consequences of plagiarism firsthand. A simple mistake can lead to loss of reputation, loss of trust and even lawsuits. It’s important to avoid plagiarism at all costs, and government organizations are held to a particularly high standard. Fortunately, technological solutions such as iThenticate allow government organizations to avoid instances of text plagiarism in an efficient manner.
Creating meaningful citizen experiences in a post-COVID world requires embracing digital initiatives like secure and ethical data sharing, artificial intelligence and more.
GHD identified four themes critical for municipalities to address to reach net-zero by 2050. Will you be ready?
As more state and local jurisdictions have placed a priority on creating sustainable and resilient communities, many have set strong targets to reduce the energy use and greenhouse gases (GHGs) associated with commercial and residential buildings.
As more people get vaccinated and states begin to roll back some of the restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic — schools, agencies and workplaces are working on a plan on how to safely return to normal.
The solutions will be a permanent part of government even after the pandemic is over.
See simple ways agencies can improve the citizen engagement experience and make online work environments safer without busting the budget.
Whether your agency is already a well-oiled DevOps machine, or whether you’re just in the beginning stages of adopting a new software development methodology, one thing is certain: The security of your product is a top-of-mind concern.