Expert discusses election security

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Are you worried about the security for the upcoming election?

Ever since the 2020 presidential election, there have been many claims that the election was “stolen” from the Republicans. Joining us today to discuss this topic on Arizona Horizon is Former Elections Security Officer-Secretary of State, Ken Matta.

A Look into Ken’s Background

Matta has over 16 years of working experience in election-related and IT security. His responsibilities ranged from logic and accuracy testing for election equipment to developing best practices for election security. To add to that, Ken has worked as a state-certified election officer for 12 years and is the chairman of the Arizona Vote Count Verification Committee.

How will your vote be protected?

The question remains with all this security being implemented: How will Maricopa County Elections Department be keeping upcoming elections safe? After 25 years, they elected to upgrade their equipment in 2019. Here’s what they have listed for their security:

  1. Restricted Access – Access is restricted to those with a job responsibility or direct oversight of tabulation.
  2. Monitored 24/7 – Cameras stream live 24-7 at Maricopa.Vote
  3. Political Party Oversight – During tabulation, party representatives and observers are present, providing oversight.
  4. No Internet Connections – No equipment or programs in the Ballot Tabulation Center are connected to the internet.
  5. No Visible Wiring – Visible wiring shows how tabulation equipment is not connected to the internet, but instead routed directly to a secure server, which is behind glass and on display for public view.
  6. Red Pens Only – Only red pens are allowed in the Ballot Tabulation center, as equipment cannot read red ink.

What if I’m voting by mail?

You might be wondering how you’re protected if you’re voting by mail. So, here’s a breakdown of what Maricopa County Elections Department will be doing to protect voters who choose to vote by mail.

  1. Only registered voters can request a ballot
  2. Verification starts 90 days before an election
  3. Tracking your ballot
  4. All affidavit envelopes are signature verified
  5. Only verified ballots are counted.

Do dead people vote in Arizona?

So, can dead people actually vote? The answer may surprise you.

“There have been isolated cases, a spouse filling out a ballot for their dead spouse and sending it in,” Matta said. “In every election, there are minor cases of fraud; very isolated individual cases. Some of them don’t even get prosecuted.”

FInally, Matta left us with this to say about fraud in the election.

“There’s never been an election I’ve seen that I don’t trust the results of,” he said.

Want more information?

If you’re still worried about election security and want more information on the Maricopa County Elections Department, check out this guide from the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office.

Ken Matta/Former Elections Security Officer, Secretary of State

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