With the 2018 elections approaching, many voters want to know what steps are being taken to ensure an open and accountable voting process.
Knox County Clerk Scott Erickson recently attended a panel discussion by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform to talk about said issues. In September, 21 states including Illinois were notified by the federal government that hackers targeted their systems before the presidential election. Erickson tells WGIL election security and election processes were covered and what is being done to secure those processes. “They accessed personal records to basically get personal information. It wasn’t – how has people voted, it wasn’t really information to do a lot of damage….other than identity theft – which is enough damage on it’s own,” Erickson said. “But the election systems are secure. There’s no way that they were actually able to hack in and change to results of the election. At least, the attacks in Illinois were only after the voter records themselves…” Other topics discussed at the panel was election judge training, improving polling voting stations, and how to turn voters away. Erickson said the main goal is to be proactive and identifying irregularities before they happen. The County Clerks Association has put together a work group made up of state police, FBI, and other state organizations to put together a best practices: what to look for, and what to be concerned about.