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Letter: Townships must keep election equipment secure

To the editor:

As we approach the 2018 election season, I feel there are some issues to be aired regarding the cyber and physical security of election equipment.

This year Goodhue County is going to be purchasing new equipment, which is sorely needed.

Now that expensive new equipment is going to be at polling places, some information needs to be clarified about the physical security of this equipment.

Lately, I was told that many townships consider the physical security of the election equipment to be satisfactory if it is placed in its locked cases. That is totally erroneous and in violation of the federal government's Election Assistance Commission directives about physical security of election equipment; the EAC was formed when George W. Bush signed and enacted the Help America Vote Again Act in 2002.

That EAC directive is very clear that the equipment must be locked away from the public and not only secure physically but also environmentally. These directives are available at the federal website under "elections."

While I am of the firm belief that elections in the U.S., for the most part, are secure, this widespread misinformation about the physical security of election equipment is very concerning, and is, I believe, a disaster waiting to happen.

Clarification and leadership on the part of election officials is necessary and mandated here as soon as possible before the March township elections.

Gaye Larson

Red Wing