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Ada and Canyon County election leaders say they're safe from cyber attacks this election

Posted at 9:28 PM, Nov 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-07 23:29:26-05

Millions of Americans have already made their voices heard this election season and millions more will head to the polls in less than 24 hours. But this year many are worried just how secure the nation's voting system is. Threats from both fraudsters not only at the polling places but also online.

"There is absolutely no system that is %100 secure and we need to remain vigilant," said Lawrence Denney Idaho’s Secretary of State.

Hackers, sifting through cyberspace to steal your voice and your vote this election day. Cyber security experts say it’s a real possibility.

"All governments get hammered all the time, it's constant," said Ada County Chief Information Officer Stephen O'Meara. "Anybody who has a .gov address automatically get's picked up by these automated hacker systems that are looking for websites or looking for networks that have this.”

Both Ada and Canyon county election officials say it's nearly impossible for a hacker to change your vote in their counties.

"We just cut the cable,” explained Ada County Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane. “Our election system that we use works in a closed system. Rather than investing a lot in cyber security we just invested in keeping it simple."

"Safety and security when all the ballots are counted in one location you can minimize access," echoed Jason Culbertson Canyon County Elections Technician

But while leaders are confident your vote can't be changed, the voter rolls are a different story.

"The possibility that someone might try to get into that system and change something about the rolls whether that's removing somebody from the rolls adding additional people to the rolls or just manipulating the data that already exists," said McGrane.  

The Ada county clerk's office hired a private company for security testing, whether by a physical breaking in or by hacking into the system.

"It's a consistent battle, but we have to be vigilant and we have to adapt just as the treats adapt," said O'Meara.  

While security experts could not breach Ada County’s system, they did have some recommendations for their website.