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Voter registration hacking attempts: What the state is doing about it

Posted at 1:34 PM, Jun 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-10 20:05:50-04

The November election is still months away, but the Center for American Progress says states have a long way to go to protect voting systems from security threats.

In Arizona, officials say hackers try to get into the computer system at the Arizona Secretary of State's office thousands of times each day, more than 50,000 times a month.

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan said hackers target the online voter registration system because it holds so much personal information about Arizona voters. If hackers get into the system, they can steal identities or change voter information.

"Can you imagine showing up at a polling place and all of the sudden your name isn't Carlos anymore, and you don't live on the same street?" Reagan said.

If a hacker can change the spelling of someone's name in the system, it would mean the name on their ID doesn't match -- making them ineligible to vote.

The state is working with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to find ways to make the system safer.

Extra security features have been added. For example, multi-factor authentication requires two ways to log in.

"That makes it extremely hard for outside entities to try to hack into that computer. It's not cheap, but we have done that," Reagan said.

Reagan said she wants to be clear with voters that their November vote is safe.

"The machines that we use all tabulate the votes. The machines that people vote on are not hooked up to the internet, it's very hard to hack those machines," she said.

Reagan said the state is working hard because only it can protect your data.