Election Security in Harford County

As I engage in a radical return to normalcy, I have neglected some posting here. I return to the blogging world with this first announcement of a story from Towson University’s media office:

Megan Price is doing her part to protect our elections

Recent grad partnering with Harford County Board of Elections

Megan Price was one of Natalie Scala’s students and I worked with them, along with COL Paul Goethals of the United States Military Academy, to analyze the election management system of Harford County, Maryland. Much of this analysis focuses on the cybersecurity risks associated with Maryland’s elections. However, this analysis goes beyond that to explore all of the attack surfaces on the Maryland elections process.

Megan’s work was presented in this poster, also shown below. The poster details the voting process, from when a voter walks into a poll until the ballot is counted. While we go through this, including here in Maryland this week, we don’t often think of all the things that go into it. A famous test question asks the taker to write instructions for making a sandwich. The point of this question is to show the complexity of even “simple” tasks. The flowchart shows how complicated the voting process is and exposes some of the places an adversary can attack it.