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Election security upgraded at county

by Andrew Maciejewski and Kaitlin Gebby - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

Members of the Huntington County Election Board came together to pass a resolution to heighten voter security last week.

The resolution was first passed by the Indiana General Assembly in partnership with Ball State University and a program called VSTOP.

VSTOP, which stands for voting system technical oversight program, is a means of tracking the maintenance and storage of electronic voting equipment.

After its creation, Indiana legislators asked that all 92 counties adopt the resolution at the local level so that clear guidelines for security and equipment maintenance are equal across the state.

According to the resolution, election board members are to “maintain strict access control” to the room in which voting equipment is stored. The room, which is only accessible by a key that a handful of people in Grant County hold, must be kept at a safe and controlled temperature for the equipment. The resolution also states that a log be kept of anyone accessing the room with voting equipment.

Huntington County Voter Registration Deputy Pam Fowler said several of the measures outlined in the resolution were already being taken by the board.

“We’ve always been very careful about where they’re housed and how they’re housed and how they’re taken care of,” Fowler said. “They want them in a temperature-controlled room and we’ve got that.”

“Our machines have always been secure, and it’s a locked room,” Fowler said. “Only certain people have keys to it. I think all of this is coming from the state for other counties that don’t have that in place.”

Fowler said during the 2016 election, they got a lot of questions about voter fraud and hacking machines, but Fowler said there is no way to plug phones in or flash drives to influence the elections.