L.A. County elections chief to retire

first_imgExpressing frustration with the decertification of Los Angeles County’s voting system, Registrar-Recorder Conny McCormack said Tuesday she will retire at the end of the year. McCormack, who has been in public service for 30 years and run county elections for the last 12, said she decided to retire for several reasons, including frustration with what she believes are unwarranted concerns about the vulnerability of election systems to hacking and tampering. “My mission has been to expand voter services, and I don’t want to preside over the dismantling of popular voting services,” she said. After a statewide study, Secretary of State Debra Bowen decided earlier this month to decertify electronic systems in 39 counties out of concerns they are vulnerable to hacking. She then recertified 38 of them, but with new security conditions attached. Los Angeles County’s InkaVote Plus system was the only one not recertified because the vendor, Election Systems and Software, had not submitted materials to Bowen’s office in time to be included in her review. ES&S has since submitted those materials, and Bowen’s office is now reviewing the system. McCormack said she was frustrated with Bowen’s finding that it’s possible to hack into the voting systems if the intruders have unfettered access to the equipment, software and passwords. “There is just no evidence of vote-altering,” McCormack said. “It’s really fear-mongering without a factual basis, and what it is doing is undermining voter confidence in the accuracy, reliability and security of voting systems now in place without evidence of problems.” Bowen said she understands McCormack’s aggravation. “But with regard to the assertion that concerns are overblown, I take great issue with that,” she said. “Even on a very short time frame, the testers were able to violate both software and physical security of the systems.” In offering other reasons for retiring, McCormack said she was approached by several foundations and wants to explore election administration research and consulting. [email protected] (213) 974-8985160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more