(Juneau) – Alaska received the highest grade given in a report released this week by the Center for American Progress that examined election security.
The organization examined seven factors, including cybersecurity standards for voter registration systems, voter-verified paper audit trail, and post-election audits in grading all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Alaska received a B, the highest grade given, and “should be applauded for its adherence to minimum cybersecurity best practices related to voter registration systems and its statewide use of paper ballots” according to the report.
No state received an A; 11 states received a B; 23 states received a C; 12 states received a D; and five states received an F.
The Center for American Progress did note that Alaska allowed voters who are stationed or live overseas to return their ballots electronically. The report states: “Alaska should prohibit voters stationed or living overseas from returning voted ballots electronically.” Regardless of the state’s ballot return system for electronically voted ballots, they recommend that all voted ballots be returned by mail or delivered in person.[xyz-ihs snippet=”adsense-body-ad”]In light of recent cyber threats to election systems, Alaska is suspending the return of completed ballots through a web portal in 2018 until a more secure solution is available. The Division will continue to accept voted ballots via fax and by mail. Alaska also received points for requiring election officials to carry out pre-election logic and accuracy testing on all machines that will be used in an upcoming election.
“We are pleased with the grade and will continue to work hard to keep our election system secure,” Director Josie Bahnke said. “Our focus is on ensuring that every eligible Alaskan has a meaningful opportunity to cast a ballot, have their vote count and to conduct impartial, secure and accurate elections.”
A copy of the report can be found on the website for the Center of American Progress.
More details about Election Security can be located on the Division of Elections website.