DEF CON 26 - Election Security


Hello! I'm Lulu Friesdat. I'm an Emmy award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker  focusing on election security.  I have worked extensively with all of the major news networks, and my work has also appeared on HBO. My election security investigations have been featured on Politico, Now This,, the Christian Science Monitor, The Young Turks,, Alternet, and Salon

With your help, I will be covering the 2nd DEF CON Voting Machine Hacking Village, and reporting on what voting machines hackers are able to access, and what that means for election security in the upcoming 2018 midterms elections.

I will also be asking election officials who are there
- What are they learning?
- How they will change their practices to increase the security and accuracy of their count?

The Voting Village is going to be holding a mock election.  If hackers are able to change the results of that election - I know you are going to want to see it. Last year I was one of the only journalists who filmed and released video of the hackers actually working on the machines. Please help make sure I can be there again!

The Voting Village is also reportedly going to have optical scanners this year.  Hackers will be trying to manipulate the results of optical scan machines, and if they are successful - that is a game changer.  It may be possible, especially if any of the scanners are using wireless modems, which have been shown to create security risks . Many counties are using wireless modems in their scanners. For example, I confirmed with Dane County Wisconsin that  “a little over ½ of the county’s voting equipment,” is using wireless modems.

The video that I shot and edited at last year's DEF CON received over a million views. 

The video that I shot and edited  about how easy it would be to hack all of the electronic voting machines in Ohio, with access to just one polling location, has received almost two million views .

DEF CON 2017 was one of the most influential events of the election season. After reading the security report from DEF CON , Virginia decertified all of its electronic voting equipment. In the election that followed, Democrats picked up 16 seats. "The results marked the most sweeping shift in control of the legislature since Reconstruction ." The 16 new Democrats and three Republicans "include many firsts : an Asian-American woman, the first Latinas, the first lesbian and the first transgender woman to serve in the legislature." There is no way of knowing if the change in voting equipment contributed to the change in power, because many of the earlier elections were on machines with no paper trail and therefore cannot be audited. But elected officials made it clear that their decision to abandon touch screen machines was "partly out of concern that their security had been compromised at DefCon."

I know you want to help make sure that we have a well-produced record of the work that takes place at DEF CON this year, and that you are able to see what happens! So much is at stake in these upcoming midterm elections - this footage can be very influential in persuading election officials and congress that they need to take urgent action to protect our very vulnerable election process.

Whether you can give $5 or $500, or something in between I need your support. If you can afford to give $25, $50,  or even $100, I would be extremely grateful. Vegas is expensive, and I have to pay for transportation, lodging, new camera equipment, and food. The total is going to be around $4,000. Please do give as much as you can today.

Thank you so much for everything you are doing to help make our elections more secure and accurate!
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Lulu Friesdat 
Brooklyn, NY
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