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The Wisconsin Elections Commission deserves praise for its public report on critical election security flaws.

The report describes security dangers and proposed solutions for the voter registration system. The report is part of the agenda for its Aug. 14 meeting. The Elections Commission has maintained a high level of transparency, as did its predecessor, the Government Accountability Board.

But I have not seen any indication that the Elections Commission plans to apply the same high level of scrutiny to the election management systems that program our voting machines. These systems are used for the critical tasks of designing our ballots, programming the tabulators and accumulating the results on election night. Some of these systems are used by county clerks, and some are used by private companies under contract with smaller counties.

A team of security consultants recently found that several such systems in Wisconsin, and others around the country, were connected to the internet for extended periods, even though election officials routinely insist that election-tabulating equipment is never connected to the internet. 

The Elections Commission should instruct its staff to deliver a comprehensive report on security of the election management systems as soon as possible.

Paul Malischke, Madison

Capital W: Plug in to Wisconsin politics

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