State and city officials: Want to improve elections? Get out and vote in them

"The biggest threat to democracy is not the Russians."

Pat Loeb
August 03, 2018 - 1:00 pm

Xinhua/Sipa USA

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia and Pennsylvania election officials are reassuring voters that their ballots will be secure in the wake of Thursday's national security warning of Russian hacking. 

The most important thing voters you can do to protect November's elections is to vote, says City Commission Chairwoman Lisa Deeley.

"The biggest threat to democracy is not the Russians," Deeley said. "It is the lack of participation. And if people really want to improve the integrity of elections, we need everyone that is eligible to vote."

Deeley says ballot security is an important issue, which city and state officials take seriously. The state has an interagency security group and a layered system of protections. Voting machines are never connected to the Internet or to each other.

"Our voting systems, including the election management system and the vote tallying components, are never connected to or permitted on an Internet-facing network," she said. "And we place locks and seals on all our voting machines at all the access points."

Deeley fears talk of Russian hacking will do more to undermine the midterms than anything Russia could actually do.