Augusta University Partners With State on Election Security

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has announced that his office will partner with the Augusta University School of Computer and Cyber Sciences to ensure the state’s new electronic voting systems are secure.

by Tom Corwin, The Augusta Chronicle / January 9, 2020

(TNS) — Georgia election officials are turning to Augusta experts for help in ensuring election integrity this year.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Wednesday that his office will partner with the Georgia Cyber Center and Augusta University School of Computer and Cyber Sciences to ensure Georgia's new electronic voting systems are secure.

"This is exciting," said Dr. Alex Schwarzmann, dean of the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences. "Georgia is moving absolutely in the right direction."

Before coming to Augusta, Schwarzmann was part of a similar partnership in Connecticut between the secretary of state and the University of Connecticut. He said there were not more than 20 states that have created such a proactive arrangement with an independent technology agency to ensure electronic election systems stay secure.

Election security must be a "first priority," Raffensperger said in a statement.

"In this challenging environment, Georgia is fortunate to have national-caliber expertise to help stay ahead of the bad actors," he said. "This association is another way Georgians can be confident that their vote will be accurate and secure."

The Augusta experts will examine the state's systems -- which is receiving new equipment this year -- and the environment in which they are employed to look for potential vulnerabilities, Schwarzmann said. The center will get a replica of the real systems deployed to help with that evaluation, he said.

"We'll be evaluating the equipment, identifying any potential security vulnerabilities and advising the state on how to make sure these vulnerabilities do not become a risk in terms of official elections in the state," Schwarzmann said. "We're looking at the entire environment in which the collection of equipment can be used safely."

©2020 The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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