LINCOLN — Secretary of State John Gale continues to have confidence in the security of Nebraska’s election process, despite concerns raised during national campaigns.

Gale said Wednesday that he believes the state has taken “every step that is appropriate” to protect the election system “at the highest level possible.”

“Election security has been a high priority of our office in the past as well as the present,” he said. “I want to assure our Nebraska voters that our statewide election process, based on paper ballots, is a very safe and secure system. Casting and tabulating of ballots are not Internet-connected.”

Gale said that all tabulation equipment is tested for accuracy in each county prior to the election and is audited after the election.

The Board of State Canvassers certifies the official election results based upon the tabulated paper ballots from each county.

On election night, unofficial results are transmitted using a closed, password-protected website maintained by a private vendor. Throughout the night, county election officials upload the unofficial results, which are then published on the Secretary of State’s public website.

“If the election night reporting is delayed or shut down for any reason, the election itself will be unaffected,” Gale said.

The state’s voter registration system also is a closed website that is password protected. All online voter registrations pass through an encrypted process.

“Attempts to corrupt that data can easily be detected,” he said. “We have a backup recovery database if needed. It’s a tightly controlled process.”

In addition, the Office of the Chief Information Officer scans all external facing state websites while private vendors do the same for their internal systems.

Martha Stoddard keeps legislators honest from The World-Herald's Lincoln bureau, where she covers news from the State Capitol. Follow her on Twitter @StoddardOWH. Phone: 402-473-9583.

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Please keep it clean, turn off CAPS LOCK and don't threaten anyone. Be truthful, nice and proactive. And share with us - we love to hear eyewitness accounts.

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