San Diego

Overhaul Coming to San Diego's Voting System

Election security remains a top priority for states like California, especially in the wake of the Mueller Report that detailed ways Russia tried to hack and influence American elections.

And as we approach 2020, San Diego's election system is getting a complete multi-million dollar overhaul.

The voting machines tabulation devices many of us are so used to seeing will soon be a thing of the past. By 2020, the next time you’ll be called to the polls, voters will be using upgraded technology.

“It will be the past, relatively shortly,” Registrar of Voters’ Michael Vu explained. “That's 1970's technology.”

In February, California’s Secretary of State said all of the state's voting systems must be updated before 2020 to strengthen election security.

The upgrade is front of mind for Vu, who is worried about security locally after evidence of Russia trying to hack American elections was presented in the Mueller Report.

“It does [worry me], I think there's always some sleepless nights,” Vu said. And that’s why the old stuff has to go.

“From the ballot layout system, to the tabulation system, to how we report out will be different,” he explained.

The new system isn’t cheap, but the $20 million purchase will be reimbursed by state and federal funds. It’s a small price to pay for a system that Vu says will make the 2020 election safe, “hands down.”

Vu says since 70 percent of San Diego's 1.8 million voters vote by mail, so most people shouldn't see too much of a change.

“They will still be voting on paper, the fill in the bubble if you will, that they currently see now,” Vu said. He emphasized that no tabulation or voting system will ever be connected to the internet.

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