Charleston, W.Va – The General Election is tomorrow, November 8, 2022, and WV Secretary of State Mac Warner is pleased with the preparations made by state and local election officials to prepare for in-person voting. Statewide there will be 1,680 polling locations, and unofficial election results will be to be reported on GoVoteWV.com after polls close Tuesday night.
Physical and cyber security protections for ballots and voters have been implemented. Bad actors will be hard-pressed and held accountable if there is any attempt to interfere or tamper with the election processes.
In West Virginia, not a single component of the voting system where ballots are created, cast, or counted is connected to the internet. This includes the voting machines and ballot tabulators, which makes it impossible for nation-state bad actors to use the internet to tamper with any official ballots cast and counted.
Protections for unofficial election results posted on GoVoteWV.com and county clerk websites, as well as the voter registration system, have been increased to secure them from any nefarious activities by foreign and domestic bad actors such as a direct denial of service (DDoS) attacks intended to restrict access or cause chaos.
The WV Secretary of State’s Office and the West Virginia National Guard have partnered since 2016 to protect these various sources of election information online, so that vital information can be shared confidently between election officials and the public. Again, no actual voting equipment connects to the internet.
The Secretary of State’s Office has renewed its invitation to the West Virginia National Guard members to assist with monitoring internet traffic and apparent threats from all over the globe leading up to and throughout Election Day. This practice is precautionary, not reactionary or compulsory, aimed at protecting our state’s critical infrastructure and ensuring the integrity of the process.
“West Virginians can have confidence that our tallied results on election night will include early voting, absentee ballots received and election day ballots in a timely fashion and presented to the public in a secure fashion” said Secretary Warner. Election night results can be found at GoVoteWV.com as they are tabulated and reported by each county clerk on Election Night after the polls close at 7:30 pm.
No person other than the County Clerk, including the Secretary of State and the National Guard assets working on behalf of the office, has visibility into any voting machines, ballots, or tabulating equipment due to the lack of internet capability. Physical security around voting systems and voting equipment are protected locally by County Clerks and Commissions, along with their technology partners.
Election officials across the state do not anticipate any delays on Election Day, while urging voters to make a plan to vote that includes checking their polling location and reviewing their sample ballots at GoVoteWV.com prior to going to the polling location.
To read other releases about the West Virginia National Guard’s activity in elections, check out this 2020 press release that highlights the mission and limited scope of the Guard’s involvement.