One year ago, we saw an election where a foreign country and its partners not only tried to influence voters through propaganda, but actively tried to hack election systems around the country.
The 2018 elections are a year away. As we look back at 2016 and ahead to 2018, citizens across Kentucky are asking: Are our elections secure? We decided to find out.
We spent hours talking with election officials. We sent inquiring emails to the Secretary of State’s office and to the manufacturers of voting machines. And we researched past incidents of voting irregularities in other states, from a machine in one precinct that added 50,000 phantom votes, to precincts with more votes than registered voters.
To be clear: We did not look at every county or district in the state. For our local look, we focused on Louisville, because the largest city in the state just got new voting machines. We believe that what we learned in Louisville, however, can be helpful as citizens in other voting districts look at both their machines and their processes.
As the tagline at the top of the page says, when we report news we do our best to be objective. In order to get this right, we gave a number of sources the option of reviewing our facts before running the stories, and those discussions helped refine the details to be as accurate as possible.
But, as the tagline also says, when we do policy work, we want to describe civic policy that is as effective as possible. That will be the goal in the concluding article, where we will analyze what we found and make some recommendations.
Here are the articles in this series. As they are published, we will link to them from this page:
- Introduction (this article) – Monday, 11/11/17
- Is Your Voter Data Secure? – Monday, 11/11/17 (read)
- Can Your Vote Be Hacked? – Tuesday, 11/12/17 (read)
- Can the Vote Counting Be Hacked? – Wednesday, 11/13/17 (read)
- Are Our Elections Secure? Analysis and Recommendations – Thursday, 11/14/17 (read)
“Free and fair elections” have always been a part of the American democracy ideals. We have not always had elections that met that ideal, but most citizens agree that it is an ideal worth working toward. Now in addition to “free” and “fair,” we need to add “secure.”
Let’s see how Kentucky does with that.
Thoughts? Comments? Add yours in the comment section at the bottom of the page.