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tv   Washington Journal J. Alex Halderman  CSPAN  August 30, 2019 1:36pm-2:05pm EDT

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>> for 40 years, c-span is providing unfiltered coverage. the white house, the supreme court and public policy events from washington, d.c. and around the country. you can make up your mind. c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span. your unfiltered view of government. ♪ >> alexoi holderman joins us frm ann arbor michigan where he teaches computer science at the university of michigan. one of your research specialties i wonder, professor, what you thought of this headline last week. hackers can easily break into voting machines.
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las vegas conference penetrated voting machines within minutes. turning them into gaining councils. >> unfortunately, all too true. election infrastructure infrastructure across therara ud states remains weakly protected and vulnerable against sophisticated foreign hackers. we've got a lots of work to dos a country before 2020 and elections to come. headlines talking about the conference last week in las vegas. the student i to turned those voting machines into voting consoles, excuse me, me, into videogame consoles included some of our research students here at michigan. voting machines, unfortunately, a target right for the picking. >> somebody who has personally hacked a a voting machine
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yourself. why did you do that and what did you learn? >> yes. security research. i and other colleagues have brought many different kinds of voting machines and other election equipment into test them. we played the role of an attacker. see how easily thehi real bad gs could make them misbehave. what we found with every single kind of voting machine that has been rigorously tested unfortunately is own abilities where someone could hack in, but malicious software one, the machine and cause it to sabotage or even silently steal votes. do you work with election officials at the state or federal level to show them what you have learned about how easy it is to hack these machines? >> yes. i am currently cochairing for the michigan secretary of state. commission to advise the state
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on how to become a national leader in election security. also spending frequent trips to trying to educate lawmakers. what we need is more resources for the state in terms of funding, in terms of standards so that all states can get up to the forefront of election. to have that, we will need stronger national leadership on the election security question. i think that that is at the root of the problem of why we have such a poor posture for securing elections in this country today. >> take us to the wolverine state. the resources that you get for this issue. >> in michigan, michigan is a good example. it already has a pretty strong posture when it comes to securing elections. that is because in michigan, like inte about half the states, every single vote is cast i voters on a piece of paper.
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paper might seem retrograde, but it is actually a pretty good defense against election hacking something that cannot be possibly changed in a cyber attack. what michigan still needsne to o as many other states do, make sure they're using that paper as a form of cyber defense. in order to do that, we have to check enough of the pieces of paper, the paper ballots by having a person inspect them and make sure that they agree with the computer systems that give us our election night totals. as august of paper paper records and computer records agree about 21, we could have really high confidence that it was not somehow tampered with. >> how many americans cast a vote on machines that did not have that paper backup? >> unfortunately, about 25% of americans in 2018. still 14 states that were at
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least some voters do not have any kind of paper backup at all. that is a problem because it means those voters are relying entirely on the output of these complex computer voting machines shown numerous times to have vulnerabilities. those voting machines are not as distant from the internet as they may seem. they are actually behind-the-scenes much more centralized and they may seem. all of this leads to a situation where we have the potential for sophisticated foreign attackers to get in and sabotage the system. >> what is the argument atme ths point for not having a paper backup for your voting machine as a state official? last week on the program there was a caller who called and specifically about this issue. concerned about boxes b of balls being found four machines that used paper backups and whether those could be just as easily
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messed with as a hacker getting into a computer system. >> oh, yes. we've had a long history in this country of people tampering with paper ballots in order to interfere in elections. that is why a modern approach is not just to go back to paper and counted by hand. what i and other security experts recommend is having that paper ballot box, but also right in front of the voter, scanning it into a computer. that is actually one of the most common voting systems in the country today. it's called optical scan. you get a paper record and an electronic record that we can check in a postelection audit to make sure reflect the same winner. much wrong with and having paper by itselflv or electronic recors by itself. you need both lots of people on the ground tampering with individual ballots and sophisticated attackers getting into thepu computer system and
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those would have to coordinate in a way that caused the same tampering in each kind of record. that would just be a remarkable kind of attack well beyond anything wee have seen tiered i do not think there were many serious people that were left that would still argue we don't need a paper trail with elections. that is pretty muchit done. just a question of resources. >> our guest from the university of michigan tiered he teaches and consults. with us for the next 15 minutes to answer your questions about election security. less than 15 months01 until election day 2020. republicans can call in. 202-784-4000. eastern or central 44,000. eastern or central timetr zone. if i have not confused youd
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enough we will let you look at the numbers on the screen and hear from frank in long island new york. good morning. >> yes. good morning. i was wondering how come they do not enforce verified. people canan really check the rl results. working on a lot of corruption sitting. there is no way to go back and check those for corruption. figuring out the voting day. >> well, i think you are getting at a very excellent point. what we need to secure elections and get everyone confident is to make sure every voter has a piece of paper they can see and verify. recording their votes that they intend. the process of counting and auditing those votes need to be
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as transparent as possible. elections in america have been based on people having safe. election officials are doing their jobs and taking every necessary precaution. it does not have to be that way. we need to engineer elections so they are based on evidence. :so any skeptical voter can see and check to know that the election is free from any kind of interference. >> angel, good morning. >> good morning. i would like to know about using technology. >> good for some things. you might know about that coin another crypto currency. based on block chain technology that essentially gives you a way
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for everyone to agree on what transactions have gone through the system without having any central-bank or central authority that is making those calls. in voting, something like this could be part of a more secure solution. having a way to post records of votes.io anyone can check, add up or legitimate people. the problem is, it is not nearly a complete solution. to continue continue the example of that coin, we still have problems of theft because people lose their passwords. because attackers install malicious software one their utmputers. or because attackers break into big coin exchanges. just like there is still theft, we still can have problems with voter election integrity.
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it may be a step forward, but it is the whole solution. >> dominic out of new york. you are next. >> good morning. i live in new york. the person that is getting that paper is really they said they are. a lot of people voting. i would like to hear your opinion on that. >> a s complicated question. the kind of trade-off between two things we really want., we want to make sure that nobody who is not entitled to vote falselyy does. when you have that kind of tension between two properties, anit is always hard to balance them.
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taking different approaches on where they want to air on that line. i would say that there is not a lot of evidence by impersonating other people. most of that fraud tends to be by a fraudulent voter violation. the reason for that is severe penalties for casting a vote when you are impersonating someone else. you can go to jail for it. that is a lot of risk could take for somes. very fraudulent vote. >> your opinion on voter id. he was leaving new jersey .esterday his way back to washington, d.c. here is a president talking to reporters. >> voter identification. people show up to vote. because if you look, judicial judicial watch made a settlement
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with california, i guess. having over a million names. very problematic. a problem. you just take a look at that settlement. that is a lot of names. wewe know that they are not arod any longer. you have a lot of voter fraud. the easiest way to stop it is voter identification. we have to go and think about that. i hope republicans and democrats can vote. the commission was having a tremendous problem legally getting papers from various states like california. they were absolutely hard lining just a quick commission. looking at voter fraud.
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the problem the commission had was we had to have a vast amount of lawyers that i did not want to bother with. california and other states were giving up no information whatsoever. they were guilty. they know they were guilty of ie many people voted that should not have loaded. some people voted many times. we need voter identification. >> i thinkel the president maybe has -- the number of voters who could possibly be voting fraudulently. it is not a million people who are voting falsely in california it may be the number of voter registration records that o perhaps need to be checked or
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there isut something out of date about them. one of the interesting things is in many states, the voter registration was her public. anyone can go in and checked the names on those lists. to see whether there are people that are dead or moved out of state or just don't exist. that transparency does provide to confirm for themselves whether the voter rolls seem to have integrity.st >> joining us from the university of michigan. a little bit farther north. vancouver canada. >> good morning. no matter how much he repeats, the myth about voter fraud.
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wondering why mitch mcconnell won't pass any security. his argument for past election security bills benefiting the democrats. having interference. it is ridiculous. >> can you give us the state of election security billsss in congress right now? >> sure. there have been a number of very strong efforts on a bipartisan basis to advance election security bills in congress. particularly in the senate. the last congress the bill called the secure election act gained bipartisan support. several good bills that have been introduced. the call is right. mitch mcconnell is the major roadblock to election security legislation in this country.
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hebe has not allowing anything o make it out of committee or reach the senate floor. i will say that many republicans and democrats already recognize that election security was a significant national security issue. without federal action, we will never be able to move forward in a court needed manner as a country or give the state the resources they need in order to protect the public. >> corpus christie. >> i have an idea. why not use a dollar bill since they have serial numbers to memorialize what they have votes on. some kind of camera takes a picture appeared your dollar bill.
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it becomes one of those things. >> incentive to go vote as well. your vote needs to remain as secret as possible. can't just give voters a receipt if you did get a receipt, someone could coerce you. it would make it much easier for people to buy or sell votes. having security protections and elections. we need to maintain ballot secrecy. they want both of those things at the same time.
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you mentioned mitch mcconnell. good morning. >> yes. running up for reelection in 2020.ec i think we address this issue a little bit earlier. we have 120 counties in kentucky. out of those 120, 48 of our counties have more voters registered than we did with the population. the various reason as to why this was happening. currently now, we have have the optical scan. we scan it through. i hope that that is more viable than any of the others. what i would really like to see, i would like to see more control by the county clerk in our
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county rather than giving it to the secretary of state. she was sued by judicial watch for not cleaning up the judicial roles. still not cleaned. we do have a new person by the name of michael adams running for secretary of state. every one of these candidates have supported cleaning up these voter rolls. another issue i would like to address the very positive thing that you just mentioned is the optical scan paper ballots in the polling place. that is the best technology we have currently. what the state also needs to do is those paper ballots are being regularly audited to make sure we match the statewide result.
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what you don't do yet. in order to get a strong alliance. another interesting point is just how local election administration tends to be. responsible for running elections on the local level. unfortunately, we just do not have good standards to provide a minimum floor for securing elections across the jurisdictions. i think that is where more federal resources and standards could play a huge role in making things better. you still have to allow a town of me for jurisdictions to accommodate local needs and go beyond those minimum standards. county to county and state to state. we have a very highly patchwork.
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>> mary lee. albuquerque, new mexico mexico. good morning. >> good morning. thank you for taking my call. we have a really good strong system, i believe. i am concerned about what happens if there is an election that is questioned where the results come out so that the election is t actually in question. even in some local jurisdiction. what happens if there is a call for doing overi an election. i wonder who has the leading edge on those kinds of things or do youro just have to throw it o the courts and cross your fingers?
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>> that is a great question. whatgo happens if we find out tt something is wrong. oui think it will depend a lot n the local rules in each state whether there are things like recounts available under the law. whether there is a paper trail to go back and check. when you have a paper trail, you can go back, audit it, recount if the audit is showing something wrong. then get much more evidence about what happened. it's possible the paper has been tampered with, too. we need to investigate any kind of evidence with that. more integrity in that case. this is all about making sure that elections are more resilient. we need layers of protection including backups like the paper trail. making them difficult to alter
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and easy to go back and recheck as we can. new mexico, by by the way, you are right. has a great history of strong election administration. including one of the states that does the most to check its paper trail after every election to make sure it is rigorously audited to make sure the results are right. ....
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the national book festival life saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on the tv on c-span2. in the late 1850s americans generally trusted their congressman but did not trust congress as an institution, nor did congressman trust each other. by 1860 many cumbersome and routinely armed, not because they were eager to kill their opponents but out of fear that their opponents might kill them. >> yale history professor and author will be our guest on in-depth, sunday from noo noon-2:00 p.m. eastern. the latest book is the field of blood. her other titles include the essential hamilton, hamilton writings and affairs of honor. join our life conversation with your phone calls, tweets and facebook questions. and i'm p.m. eastern on "after words" in his latest book the immortal majority we examine how
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evangelicals are choosing political power over christian values. >> i think the lesser evil argument is tempting but dangerous and i think it contributes to keeping a system in place that takes accountability out of the system and it also is an easy way to bring in something like evangelicalism or any other faith and use that as a way to get votes which seems like about the worst possible way to use. >> watch the tv every weekend on c-span2. >> u.s. senate comes back into session on monday, september 9 with 2 important issues on their agenda, passing federal spending bills and anti- gun violence legislation but before senators returned to washington get a behind-the-scenes look at the senate with the smith history program, the senate, conflict and compromise. here's a preview.
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>> it was created in a compromise individual concession thomas jefferson questioned the need for a senate. >> the framers believed -- >> was follow the constitution. >> it was established to protect people from their rulers and as a check on the house. >> the fate of this country and maybe even the world is in the hands of congress and the united states senate the senate, conflict and compromise, using original interviews c-span video archive and unique access to the senate chamber we look at the history, traditions and roles of the u.s. senate. sundays and i'm p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. >> acting homeland security kevin maclaine and testified recently a president trumps 2020 budget request for his agency.
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members asked about the administration's immigration enforcement action and efforts to protect migrant children drug interdiction efforts and the response to recent flooding in oklahoma and tornadoes in missouri. this is about two hours. >> good morning this hearing will come to order. this is the hearing of the title resource needed to protect and secure the homeland. i will review the budget of the apartment of homeland security and have the acting secretary of homeland security, the honorable kevin mclean to testify and i first want to appreciate and thank you for your long service in this country. in particularly at this moment where we are grappling with so many issues the aftermath of an unprecedented level of disasters with hurricanes and fir i

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