The growing threat of cybercrime has been on the minds of many voters. Recently, there have been many questions about the security of the voter data under the care of the election authorities. Here, at the McLean County Clerk’s office, we are committed to cybersecurity, as well as the physical security, of the data in our care.
Our electronic voting equipment consists of the AccuVote OS (Optical Scan) tabulator and AccuVote TS (Touch Screen). These machines are never connected to the internet. The OS and TS machines are tested before and after each election to ensure they are functioning correctly. The electronic voting equipment and memory cards are kept in secure locations when not being used for an election.
Our vendor has 250 years of combined experience in elections. They create the ballots, “load and lock” the election onto the equipment; which is then secured until election day.
During an election, we employ numbered security seals on the TS and OS machines, to ensure the critical components are not tampered with. The “voter card” used with the TS machine has only the ballot style and party (if it is a Primary election). None of the voter’s information is on the voter card. When the election ends, our vendor representative operates the equipment that tallies the results. They are the only people who handle the data from the OS and TS memory cards.
The County Clerk’s office and the McLean County IT department are working together along with State and Federal entities, such as the Department of Homeland Security, to maintain the integrity of elections and voter information. We have also designated a competent staff member to oversee our cybersecurity. Through continuing education about cybersecurity, we are striving to make certain future elections and voter data remain safe from cyberthreats.