AT&T’s 3G shutdown catches blame for a serious election headache in Michigan

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Some Michigan counties can’t instantly report Tuesday night time’s election outcomes as a consequence of a complicated mixture of federal vote reporting steering and AT&T’s determination to retire its 3G networks this previous February.

In a web site alert, the Wayne County clerk’s workplace confirmed that 65 of Michigan’s 83 complete counties “are not modeming unofficial election outcomes.” Wayne County is the place Detroit is positioned, and it’s the state’s greatest county by inhabitants with about 1.8 million residents. It’s unclear what number of are as a consequence of county officers that didn’t improve their very own modems, or if this is because of U.S. Election Help Fee (EAC) pointers advising towards utilizing modems. Elsewhere in Michigan, Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum informed The Verge that to be cyber safety aware, “we’ve by no means modemed outcomes. So this didn’t change our course of in Ingham County.”

In part 14.2-E, the Voluntary Voting System Tips (VVSG) 2.0 established in February 2021 suggested towards connecting voting methods to the web. The rules cited the chance of ransomware, the flexibility for attackers to view information inside the system, or modify information inside it that must do with election outcomes and poll data.

“This has considerably delayed the reporting course of,” the Tuesday night time Wayne County alert learn. “We don’t have a definitive time of after we will attain 100% reporting, however will proceed to work all through the night and morning till that is achieved.”

AT&T didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

After asserting its plans to finish its 3G wi-fi community in 2019, the supplier formally sundown the service this previous February.

The workplace of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson confirmed the widespread concern and mentioned reporting delays “had been anticipated” in an announcement to WDIV ClickOnDetroit late Tuesday night time. “Many Michigan counties are within the strategy of or have already phased out the usage of modems to transmit election outcomes from cities and townships to their county clerk’s workplace,” the assertion mentioned.

Election Outcomes Replace

Based mostly on the advice of the Voluntary Voting Methods Guideline 2.0 issued by the U.S. Election Help Fee, coupled with AT&T’s determination in March 2022 to not help 3G modems, 65 out of 83 Counties in Michigan are not modeming unofficial election outcomes. This has signficantly delayed the reporting course of. We don’t have a definitive time of after we will attain 100% reporting, however will proceed to work all through the night and morning till that is achieved.

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