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Votes hack-proof once in automated system, vows senior election committee official

December 18, 2017, 14:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia's Election Committee official says hacking the voting results to try to alter ballots after they have been inserted into the automated ‘(GAS) Election’ system is utterly impossible

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© Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS

MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Hacking the voting results to try to alter ballots after they have been inserted into the automated ‘(GAS) Election’ system is utterly impossible, because once the data for the final protocols provided by polling site commissions is entered, the vote count is completely automatic, Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission Nikolay Bulaev said in an interview with TASS.

The Election is a very big "calculator," he said. The outcome of a vote from a polling site commission is inserted in a computer that forms a final protocol with a QR code. After checking, the protocol is endorsed by the polling site commission members and then taken to a territorial commission.

"There is a scanner there, and as soon as a protocol is inserted in it, a human hand does not touch it anymore. The protocol data then gets to the Election state automated system and directly to Moscow through closed communication channels bypassing local election commissions," Bulaev explained.

Once the last voting stations in Kaliningrad close, the Central Election Commission’s counters with the ballot results are off and running unremittingly.

"The protocol gets to a territorial commission, is placed into a scanner, and our main computer receives and sums up its result immediately. It is impossible to interfere in this process," the election deputy chief stressed.

Still, just in case, working groups are operating to monitor the protocol input process, scan and count votes in any place where there are segments of the Election state automated system: at territorial commissions, regional commissions and at the Central Election Commission. "The control groups are made up of representatives from different parties. No one could ever imagine a place in the Central Election Commission where the results could be changed. A human hand does not touch this process. The machine does the counting, and we publish the results online," Bulaev noted.

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