Election security experts say giving Maricopa County routers to Arizona Senate’s election auditors would be concerning

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Routers serve as the mail carrier of a computer network: They deliver messages using maps of networks and computer addresses.

Senate liaison Ken Bennett on the latest with the Arizona Senate audit of ballots

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Think of it like a mail carrier who relies on maps and addresses to get mail to the right place.

Given access to the mail carriers’ or routers’ information, it would be easier for a bad actor to get access to a person’s mail, or to target the information inside the network.

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That’s an analogy one tech expert – Matt Bernhard, a research engineer at Voting Works, a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for open source election technology — gave while explaining the importance of keeping Maricopa County’s routers secure.

Arizona Senate Republicans are trying to get access to the county’s routers and administrative passwords to the county’s voting machines, and to provide that to private contractors they’ve hired to audit the county’s 2020 election results, which began April 23.



a group of people sitting in chairs: Maricopa County ballots from the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors hired by the Arizona Senate in an audit at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on May 11, 2021.


© David Wallace/The Republic
Maricopa County ballots from the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors hired by the Arizona Senate in an audit at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on May 11, 2021.

Bernhard said providing access to the routers is a “pretty specific risk” to the county. Also, he and other election security consultants across the country are unsure why exactly the auditors would need the routers to audit the election results.

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Senate liaison Ken Bennett has said they are needed to check whether the county’s voting machines were connected to the internet during the election. But a county spokesperson said that the auditors already have the information and machines to perform that check, and a previous independent audit commissioned by the county proved they were not.

County Attorney Allister Adel has said that giving…

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