BOSTON (AP) – Those in charge of the federal agency overseeing the electoral administration have tacitly weakened a key element of the proposed security standards for electoral systems and raised concerns among electoral integrity experts that many of these systems will continue to be vulnerable to hacking.

The Electoral Assistance Commission is ready to approve its first new security standards in 15 years after a painstaking process involving multiple professional and electoral committees and open hearings. Ahead of a planned vote on ratification by the commissioners on February 10, the EAC leadership tweaked the draft standards to remove a requirement that would have banned wireless modems and chips from voting machines as a condition of federal certification.

The very presence of such wireless hardware poses unnecessary risks of tampering that could alter data or programs in electoral systems, say computer security specialists and activists, some of whom have long complained when the EAC bends too easily to …

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