Condos: Fake social media biggest threat to Vt. election integrity

Published: Feb. 27, 2020 at 4:55 PM EST
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Vermont elections officials are gearing up for Super Tuesday next week and reassuring residents that their votes will be secure. But they say misinformation spread on social media still poses a big threat.

Experts say if foreign entities can't hack election results, they'll attack the election process by spreading misinformation on social media. Secretary of State Jim Condos says he's calling on everyone to report false claims such as polling locations closing early to his office. Outside of misinformation, Condos says physically changing the results of a local or state election would be a tough task.

"To put it bluntly, if someone wanted to change vote totals by affecting the vote tabulators, they would have to break into the town hall, break into the town clerk's office, break into the vault, find the equipment, find the memory cards, change them, reconfigure them and then get out before anyone knows," Condos said.

In the past two years, Vermont has invested around $6 million in new election security infrastructure and training. The state has a several software applications which monitor internet traffic and let officials know if there's a risk. The state also backs up Vermont's voter registration database on a daily basis and keeps the server out of state in a secret location.