Ohio: Electronic poll books seem conceptually simple but may be vulnerable to hacking and cyber attacks, experts say

March 19, 2013


Cuyahoga County elections officials plan to experiment with electronic poll books to verify the registration of in-person voters despite warnings that the devices are vulnerable to hacking and even politically motivated cyber attacks. Two experts contacted by The Plain Dealer said the so-called e-poll books also have spotty performance records in several places where they have been tested and could be especially challenging for Cuyahoga County because of its larger number of voters and past troubles with new election technology. “E-poll books are similar to other computer-based technologies in voting – full of promise and lousy execution in most locations,” said Candice Hoke, a Cleveland State University law professor and an authority on laws governing election technologies. “Our counties should be extremely chary of adopting them, but definitely a pilot project is a good way to proceed.”