February 20, 2018 – Nevada County’s elections are safe from Russian hacking, the County’s Clerk-Recorder, Gregory J. Diaz said today.

“While the indictments by the special prosecutor in Washington focused mainly on Russia attempts to influence who voters decided to vote for, it was widely known that the well-financed Russian intelligence effort also looked at altering vote counts,” Diaz said.

“We were well-protected in the 2016 election,” Diaz said, “and we will be firmly protected again this year.”

Diaz noted that Nevada County is one of but five California counties that have qualified for a new, augmented voting system, called Voters’ Choice Act, that will make it easier for citizens to register and vote, while security to safeguard who votes and how the vote is counted remain in place.

“Ten years ago, when the Board of Supervisors asked me to take over the tasks of Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters, they made a commitment to our county to assure efficient, safe elections,” Diaz said.

“All credit should be given to our supervisors for recognizing the deficiencies that existed then, and for continuing to provide the means to upgrade all of our systems in the intervening years,” he continued.

Diaz and his staff will conduct a series of workshops over the next few weeks enabling voters to examine all aspects of the new act and take advantage of them.  The Voters’ Choice Act transforms voting in several ways:

  • Elections are all mail; every registered voter will receive a ballot in the mail 28 days before the election.  Voters can cast their ballots by mail, as in the past.
  • Alternatively, voters can cast ballots at convenient Drop-Off Locations and Vote Centers, all listed in the ballot material sent to voters.
  • If, for instance, a ballot is mismarked or not received, voters can go to any Vote Center on Election Day for a replacement ballot or to address other problems quickly.
  • Eligible residents can also register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day at any Vote Center.

Diaz explained that the new system makes it impossible for anyone to vote more than once.  In addition, renewed emphasis has been placed on guarding against hacks, or cyber-attacks.