Researchers call for post-election review after finding some ballot-marking devices could be vulnerable in recall


SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 25: A piece of paper divides mail-in-ballots before they are passed through a sorting machine at the Santa Clara County registrar of voters office on August 25, 2021 in San Jose, California. The Santa Clara County registrar of voters is preparing to take in and process thousands of ballots in the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom as early voting is underway in the state of California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A group of voting security researchers, alarmed by recent disclosure of sensitive election system software by an ally of former President Trump, want California officials to conduct a statewide post-election review of ballots cast in the Sept. 14 recall targeting Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Their request, made just days before in-person voting begins in several counties, threatens to drag California into the tumultuous national debate over election security.

“While the software versions are not identical to those used in California, differences are relatively minor,” the group said in its letter Thursday to Secretary of State Shirley Weber. “The release materially elevates threats to the trustworthiness of the ongoing California recall election and to public trust in the election.”

The researchers who wrote to Weber acknowledged California’s strong record on election security. But they argued the public discussion of Dominion products by Mike Lindell, the chief executive of MyPillow and an informal adviser to Trump, was tantamount to a serious breach of election system security.

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