Election officials confident voting machines are safe - WSMV News 4

Election officials confident voting machines are safe

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From Donald Trump suggesting the election may be rigged, to Hillary Clinton’s campaign dealing with hackers, security concerns over voting are at an all-time high.

Experts say any machine can be vulnerable, but election technicians in Davidson County are confident every vote is safe.

“Could a regular voter get on here and manipulate the results?” asked Channel 4 I-Team reporter Alanna Autler.

“Absolutely not, I’m going to catch you if you do,” said Bobby Medley, a technician.

The Davidson County Election Commission gave the I-Team an inside look into where they store Nashville’s voting machines. It’s a secure, unidentified building that only two technicians can access. Medley has been one of them for more than 30 years.

Davidson County has used the machines since 2006. The warehouse holds more than 800 devices.

A poll worker inserts a PEB card into the machine, which records a person’s vote. If the PEB malfunctions, the machine stops them from voting.

Votes are also stored on a memory card, which should stay sealed until polls close.

When polls close, the results are printed four times. One copy is posted at the precinct, while the rest are returned to the warehouse to be counted.

“We feel confident that the numbers you see on election night are the true numbers,” said Jeff Roberts, an election administrator.

Election officials said these machines never connect to the internet, eliminating the threat of a cyber-attack.

But according to one expert, no computer is perfect.

“Voting machines are, at their heart, computers, and every computer can be attacked, can be hacked. It’s just a question of how and how hard is it,” Jon Sullivan said.

Sullivan said software can cause concerns depending on who loads it and how.

In Nashville, only Medley and one other technician have access.

Sullivan said while a widespread hack is possible, it would be difficult.

“There are thousands of different election systems across the U.S., and it would be pretty hard to affect a great proportion of that,” he said.

Even before Election Day, Medley’s job is to ensure the voting machines keep working.

“I think a lot of credit goes to them because they make it their mission to ensure security is top priority,” Roberts said.

The Davidson County Election Commission states it has had zero issues involving security breaches. The commission works with Metro IT to ensure they are using the best safety practices.

Early voting in Davidson County begins Wednesday. Click here for more information.

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