Lake County Voting Hardware and Software

Written by Brian Massie, Concord resident 14 years

Our country is hearing about an amazing amount of voting irregularities and outright fraud that occurred in many states in the recent November 3, 2020 election. There have been scores of allegations about the Dominion hardware and Smartmatic software being susceptible to computer hacking.

We wanted to confirm with Mr. Ross McDonald, Director of the Lake County Election Board, about the voting hardware and software used in Lake County, and whether or not our voting machines are ever connected to the internet.


Reply from Ross McDonald – Director of Lake County Election Board:

“Lake County does not use Dominion for hardware or software. We use Election Systems and Software (a.k.a. ES&S).”

“Our machines are NEVER connected to the internet. On devices that could connect to the internet, we use network security measures such as “air gapping” to ensure there is no physical connection to the internet, plus we employ port disabling and white listing/deny by default configurations. Most of our devices (the voting machines) do not have the physical hardware to even establish an internet connection.


LFC sent the following image, which we received from an out of county source, to Mr. McDonald

LFC was concerned with the written statement: “I have previously discovered major exploitable vulnerabilities in DVS (Dominion Voting Systems) and ES&S (Lake County supplier) that permit a nefarious operator to perform sensitive functions via its built-in covert backdoor.”

We are not implying or suggesting anything nefarious occurred with the Lake County elections, but simply wanted to make our Election Board aware of what is being shared on the Internet. For the record, LFC believes that the Lake County Elections Board does a marvelous job for the citizens of Lake County.


Reply from Ross McDonald – Director of Lake County Election Board:

“Thank you for passing this along. I’m aware of this affidavit and will be monitoring any developments to determine if Lake County has cause for concern.” 

“I think it’s worth mentioning that we conduct post-election audits of the ballots, whereby we hand count over 5% of the votes cast in the election. This hand counted audit is done by bipartisan teams who are physically handling the absentee ballots, provisional ballots and the election day paper rolls produced by the voting machine (the paper roll is known in the industry as a Real Time Audit Log (RTAL)). As they review the ballots, two officials are reading the vote and two are recording the vote using a pen slash mark on the audit tally sheets. After all votes have been audited by human hands and eyes, their tally sheets are totaled and compared to the software’s reported result.”

“Let’s imagine that the software was compromised and the votes were allocated by a nefarious algorithm, as opposed to the voter’s intent. This kind of compromise would quickly be discovered during the audit process because the tally sheets and the software results would not align whatsoever. I have only used ES&S in my nearly 10 years of election administration, and I’ve never seen a post-election audit fail by even one vote.”

“We had our first BOE open house in 2019. At that event, we had several stations with presentations and Q&A time. One of those stations dealt with election security. Of course, we had planned to offer another open house prior to the presidential election, but you know, COVID. We will offer more open houses once the pandemic is over and I surely would appreciate your assistance in getting the word out at that time.”

Thank you for your confidence in our elections – that’s probably the highest compliment an election official can receive.


LFC Comments: We know that the current electronic voting machine used in Lake County are quite old (20+ years), and the County Commissioner did allocate money to replace the existing hardware and software. This writer participated in a “mock” election a few years ago when the Election Board was trying out various hardware and software vendors. In light of the current troubles in other states, we believe that it was a great decision not to purchase any new equipment or software during a presidential election year. No doubt everyone will be on guard with future decisions on election hardware and software.


Categories: Uncategorized


7 replies

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  6. We see nothing that would indicate any nefarious actions from either side of the aisle. Collusion is always a possibility when dealing with people. However, our goal is to report what we know, and never bear false witness against anyone. We believe that everyone working in the Lake County Election Board to be righteous in their actions for the residents of Lake County.

  7. I would be far more concerned about the lake county board of elections rigging elections for a cabal of local officials than I would be concerned about anyone from outside accessing the system. Why is Lake County the only county in Ohio still using the old ES&S machines? Why did the board supposedly decline money from the county to upgrade the machines? How hard would it be for a few rogue actors working within the system to program chips and create false reports? How well do we know the director and the people working for him really? What would stop them from running such an operation with hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more!) at stake? The law? Right versus wrong?

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