Statement on SBE Decision to Terminate Wireless Router Plan

Senator Cheryl C. Kagan
District 17 (Rockville & Gaithersburg)
SBE “Pulls the Plug” on Proposed Wireless Roll-Out Plan
Emergency Bill (SB362) hearing highlighted the many concerns
“I’m relieved to learn that following the hearing on my emergency bill, SB362, the staff of the State Board of Elections (SBE) has abandoned their flawed plan to force Maryland’s six largest jurisdictions to employ wireless routers at every precinct on Election Day in this critically important presidential election year. During Tuesday’s Special Election, there were significant challenges that ultimately forced elections officials to disconnect these wireless routers. If the technology couldn’t handle a paltry 60,000 voters during a Special Election, we can only imagine the disasters that could occur in April’s primary, when we expect more than 1.4 million Marylanders to head to the polls.
“I was astonished that SBE officials chose not to attend Thursday’s hearing in the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee to respond to legislators’ concerns. For months and at yesterday’s hearing, Senators, the Maryland Association of Election Officials, the Maryland Association of Counties, Montgomery County’s Executive and County Council, State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, and others have joined me in expressing serious concerns about this proposal.It is reassuring to see that Board officials got the message.
“One of the most consequential presidential elections in history is not the time to experiment with wireless devices statewide. Instead, Maryland should avoid installing new wireless technology so as to ensure security of our process and the resulting confidence in the election outcome.”
[NOTE: Kagan’s original statement is below.]
About Sen. Cheryl C. Kagan
Senator Kagan (D-District 17) is in her second term representing Gaithersburg and Rockville. She serves as the Vice Chair of the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. Kagan has earned a reputation as an independent-minded legislator with a strong voice for her constituents on public safety, consumer protection, election reform, and more. Kagan is active on social media and can be found on Facebook atSen. Cheryl Kagan, on Twitter at @CherylKagan, and on Instagram at @CherylCKagan.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 5, 2020    
Senator Cheryl C. Kagan
District 17 (Rockville & Gaithersburg)
Statement on Troubling Problems in Tuesday’s Special Election
Emergency Bill (SB362) to be heard in Senate EHEA Committee Thursday
“I have recently learned of the serious problems in yesterday’s Special Election caused by risky new technology mandated by the State Board of Elections. Only the six largest jurisdictions are being required to install wireless devices that may cause delays for voters and vulnerability for the system.
“On Monday in Iowa, I witnessed the fiasco of failed technology in a Presidential primary. We all waited for Caucus results that are still incomplete two days later.  
“Tomorrow, the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee will hear SB362, an emergency bill to eliminate the need for these routers that could cause security risks and significant disruptions.”
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