Published October 28, 2022

North Dakota election systems 'incredibly secure' 

Written by
AP - The Dakotan
| The Dakotan

Auditor Josh Gaillian’s review 

By JAMES MacPHERSON Associated Press 

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The state auditor said Thursday that an examination of North Dakota's electoral systems conducted in response to voter concerns found that they are "incredibly secure." 

Auditor Josh Gallion said he undertook the review in response to concerns nationally that false claims of election fraud and conspiracies are threats to democracy. 

"We looked at any potential weaknesses in the election system of our state that could be exploited by someone with nefarious intent," Gallion said. "The determination after extensive review from our contractor was that our election systems are incredibly secure across our state." 

The review found six vulnerabilities to the state's election system but all were labeled "low risk," Gallion said. The report identified the vulnerabilities as the the ability for a voter to cast multiple ballots, identity theft of deceased voters, stuffing or discarding valid absentee ballots, equipment tampering, and absentee ballot fraud. 

Gallion said his office received many inquiries from residents and others about North Dakota's election security following the 2020 election, fueled by former President Donald Trump's false claims of election fraud. One inquiry came from MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has echoed lies that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. 

Election security experts and Trump's own national security and Justice Department officials said there was no fraud sufficient to alter the outcome of the 2020 election. Dozens of lawsuits filed after the election were rejected, many by Trump-appointed judges. 

"There was a lot of public attention and a lot of scrutiny other states ... so I asked for this review," Gallion said. 

There was never any evidence of election fraud in North Dakota's 2020 general election, Gallion said. 

The review was conducted between May 16 and July 31 by Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Secure Yeti. Gallion said it was included in the auditor's budget that set aside $450,000 for security reviews of the university system and the state information technology department. 

Gallion said the first-of-its-kind review did not include the state's June primary election. 

"We did not want to have a security team inadvertently affect the election, so they did not try to test during the primary," Gallion said.  

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