A design flaw in Washington’s Online Voting tool, MyVote, exposed some voter information that should not have accessible. The Secretary of State’s office says the glitch has since been fixed.
But, in an election year twist, the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, Tina Podlodowski, alerted the State’s Cyber Security office to the problem. Podlodowski is challenging incumbent Secretary of State Kim Wyman, a Republican.
Podlodowski says a concerned citizen brought the glitch to her attention, prompting her to send an email to Washington’s Chief Information Security Officer.
According to the Secretary of State’s office, the software issue allowed access to personal information including email address, and phone number, as well as some contact information for military voters. The information was not visible on screen, but could be read through computer coding.
Sensitive information such as social security or driver’s license numbers were not accessible, according to spokesman Dave Ammons. “We want to make it clear that this was neither a security breach nor a hack of the voter system,” said Ammons said in a statement. “Our IT staff has reviewed log-ins from that four-month period and found no mass log-ins or systematic harvesting of data.”
“I take this situation very seriously and as soon as we were alerted by the Office of the Chief Information Officer to this design flaw in the MyVote system, we took immediate steps to correct the error,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman. "I take very seriously my responsibility to safeguard information contained in the voter database and am proud of my record as a certified elections administrator of running safe and secure elections for over two decades," Wyman continued.
"Finally, in this climate of political polarization and hyper-partisanship, I want to thank my opponent for her role in notifying my office of the design flaw. We all have to work together to protect each other. I've always tried to do what's in the public's best interest regardless of partisanship or anything else, so I appreciate her working with me to identify and correct the situation before any further problems occurred," wrote Wyman.
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