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Amid concerns of politically-motivated Russian hacking, a Michigan professor is sounding the alarm about the vulnerabilities of U.S. online voting systems. 

Noting that 26 states and the District of Columbia will use some form of online voting, Eric Shawn spoke on Happening Now this morning to J. Alex Halderman, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan.

Though officials in D.C. declared the system to be safe, Halderman and his students were able to hack into it in just 36 hours during a demonstration to test the system.

Halderman said he and his students are not professional hackers, but still found a small vulnerability in one line of code and it was enough to allow them total access.

"That's the problem with online voting. Just a small mistake ... could let an attacker in [and] give them complete control," he explained, arguing that letting people vote online is "painting a target on our democracy" and inviting attacks.

He said it will be "decades" before online voting can be made as fool-proof as an old-fashioned paper ballot because it will require "fundamental advances" in cybersecurity.


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