Hacking the Election: special report
Hacking the vote

One election-system vendor uses developers in Serbia

Election-system development is not unlike other software development

Election 2016 teaser - Electronic voting, Republican and Democrat
Election 2016 teaser - Lack of trust in a broken election or divided vote

Voting machines are privately manufactured and developed and, as with other many other IT systems, the code is typically proprietary.

The use of proprietary systems in elections has its critics. One Silicon Valley group, the Open Source Election Technology Foundation, is pushing for an election system that shifts from proprietary, vendor-owned systems to one that that is owned "by the people of the United States."

But today, election system makers can operate in much the same manner as any vendor to build code; that includes using overseas developers.

One major election technology company, Dominion Voting Systems (DVS), develops its systems in the U.S. and Canada but also has an office in Belgrade, Serbia. It was recently advertising openings for four senior software developers in Belgrade.

"Like many of America's largest technology companies -- which develop some of the software for their products in places like Asia, India, Ireland and the Mideast -- some of our software development is undertaken outside the U.S. and Canada, specifically, in Serbia, where we have conducted operations for 10 years," said firm spokesman Chris Riggall, in an email.

Dominion said it takes measures "to ensure the accuracy, integrity and security of the software we create for our products."

"First, all of our software is developed in-house by DVS employees and this work is not outsourced to third parties. Second, we rigorously pre-screen all new hires to identify any potential security concerns among any personnel involved in product development. Third, we conduct extensive internal testing of all new software to evaluate the functionality, accuracy and security of the code designed for our systems," said Riggall.

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