Tuesday, August 9, 2022

AT&T’s 3G shutdown blamed for major Michigan election headache

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Some Michigan counties cannot immediately report Tuesday night’s election results due to a confusing mix of federal voting reporting guidelines and AT&T’s decision to retire its 3G networks last February.

In a website alert, the Wayne County Clerk’s Office confirmed that 65 of Michigan’s total of 83 counties “are no longer moderating unofficial election results.” Wayne County is where Detroit is located, and it is the state’s largest county by population with approximately 1.8 million residents. It’s unclear how much is due to provincial officials failing to upgrade their own modems, or whether it’s due to U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) guidelines that discourage the use of modems. Elsewhere in Michigan, Ingham County Clerk told Barb Byrum: The edge that to be cybersecurity conscious, “we never moderated results. So this hasn’t changed our process in Ingham County.”

In section 14.2-E, the Guidelines for Voluntary Voting System (VVSG) 2.0 established in February 2021 advises against connecting voting systems to the internet. The guidelines mentioned the risk of ransomware, the ability for attackers to view or modify files in the system related to election results and ballots.

“This has significantly slowed down the reporting process,” Wayne County’s warning read on Tuesday night. “We don’t have a definite time when we will reach 100 percent reporting, but will continue to work through the evening and morning until this is achieved.”

AT&T did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

After announcing its plans to end its 3G wireless network in 2019, the provider has officially sunset of the service last February.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office confirmed the widespread issue and said delays in reporting were expected. in a statement to WDIV ClickOnDetroit late Tuesday night. “Many counties in Michigan are in the process of, or have already phased out, the use of modems to transmit election results from cities and municipalities to their county offices,” the statement said.

Update election results

Based on the recommendation of the Voluntary Voting Systems Guideline 2.0 issued by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, coupled with AT&T’s March 2022 decision to no longer support 3G modems, 65 of Michigan’s 83 counties are no longer announcing unofficial election results. . This has slowed down the reporting process considerably. We don’t have a definite time when we will reach 100 percent reporting, but will continue to work through the evening and morning until this is achieved.

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