With Secretary of State Matt Dunlap announcing that ranked-choice voting supporters have enough certified signatures to continue pushing the issue in the June primary, we have deep concerns.
Considering that today is March 9th, we are just over 3 months away from Election Day, and implementing this complicated and confusing system could be a nightmare.
Our top concern right now is the security of Maine’s elections.
You see, all election systems and equipment, etc. have been declared critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security after hackers attempted to compromise the systems of 21 different states in the last election cycle.
Secretary of State Dunlap himself said that Maine was ‘insulated’ from these attacks because our system of voting and counting ballots is so decentralized, with election workers counting ballots and reporting in each town or precinct in the state and the Secretary of State’s office just tabulating the results.
At the same time Secretary Dunlap told us that Maine’s elections were safe from hackers, he said that the only piece of Maine’s election system that is vulnerable is our voter file, because it is stored in a single, centralized location.
But ranked choice voting will require a single, centralized counting process – it will literally require us to move the entire process of counting our ballots into the same type of security vulnerability Secretary of State Dunlap has identified for the voter file.
This is a big problem. HUGE.
Aside from all the other arguments against ranked-choice voting being complicated, discouraging participation and violating the Constitution of the State of Maine, we need to make sure that our system is secure.
We are not sure three months is enough time for Secretary Dunlap to do it.
Does anyone want Maine’s ballot counting process becoming a target of hackers from foreign governments?
We don’t, and if Democrats flip-flop on us now to say that they are not worried about hackers from hostile states instead of making sure our system is secure, they are violating the public trust in epic fashion.
We’ll remind you, if this system is allowed to stay in place, it will be used in the next Presidential election as well.
Do we really want to fudge our way through this?
There is too much at stake, and we are watching.
Maine Republican Party
P.S. Here are two links to help you learn more:
U.S. Dept of Homeland Security written testimony from June 21, 2017 concerning Russian cyber actors targeting state election infrastructure
Secretary of State Matt Dunlap stating that the decentralized nature of Maine elections protects Maine from hackers, but also says that the state voter file, stored in one location, is the only vulnerability