An 11-year-old hacker is making waves after revealing over the weekend voter infrastructure vulnerabilities at a hackathon. In just ten minutes, a child managed to change election results on a replica of the Florida Secretary of State’s website. Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said the ‘DEFCON 26’ hackathon reiterates a need for funding to replace dated equipment and restore voter confidence.
“It is a replica of what Russia forces sought to do in interfering with our elections,” Grimes said. “Which is to cause chaos and sew discord, so you can imagine folks looking at a website trying to see returns and then all the sudden see numbers change.” Grimes said that causes doubt and for people to question the election administration process.
Grimes said Kentucky recently received $5.7 million dollars from a pool of funds appropriated 16 years ago that was signed into a spending bill by President Trump this March. According to Grimes, those funds are not enough. She said Congress needs to act now, instead of waiting like it has in the past to provide additional funding.
“We have a hand full of counties that are operating on election equipment systems that do not have that verifiable, auditable paper trail per voter. And that is what Kentuckians are rightfully demanding and we need the funding to help make that happen,” Grimes said.
It will take millions of dollars to get 29 counties updated to have a paper trail system, that are currently without said Grimes. She said Kentuckians can take comfort in knowing the state is decentralized, meaning voting machines are not connected to the Internet or the state’s website.