September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Cybersecurity researchers urge Sec. Weber to audit recall election

Inside California Politics

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – California could be the next state at the center of the nation’s debate on elections integrity and security as a group of cybersecurity researchers urge the California Secretary of State to do a statewide risk-limiting audit after the recall election.

A risk-limiting audit would review paper ballots to detect any possible interference.

Security experts and state leaders acknowledge California has a long history of having solid election security. The request comes weeks after MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell hosted an election fraud event and released software for the Dominion Voting Systems election management system.

The system is used in 40 of California’s 58 counties.

In a letter to Secretary of State Shirley Weber, the group wrote, “While the software versions are not identical to those used in California, differences are relatively minor: The release materially elevates threats to the trustworthiness of the election.”

“Anything that erodes the confidence voters have in the elections process is a bad thing,” said Donna Johnston, president of the California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials.

Johnston is also the clerk of Sutter County, which uses Dominion Voting Systems.

She says installing the election software onto a county’s system is a very secure process and that all counties, those using Dominion or not, must physically pick up the software from the Secretary of State’s office.

“Only certain individuals can get it, and so forth then we take that Trusted Build [software] system, put it onto our system and verify that system is indeed the correct system and is working properly,” Johnston explained. “Everything we have is in a locked physical location with very limited access.”

California has done risk-limiting audits but the Secretary of State’s office noted state law currently does not provide for one in this recall election. It’s unclear if that can change with less than two weeks left until the election date and less than one week left in the legislative session.

“The Secretary of State’s office is really good with communicating with all elections officials and letting us know what’s going on,” Johnston said.

Leaders of the State Senate and Assembly elections committees would not comment Friday.

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