Alabama’s new ‘hardened’ laptop rule for vote-counting could slow process in Jefferson County

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Changes that come with the use of new vote-tabulating computers could cause some delay in compiling and reporting results in next Tuesday’s primary in Jefferson County, Probate Judge James Naftel said.

Secretary of State John Merrill, who put the rules for the new computers in place, said they are an additional safeguard against hackers manipulating voting results.

Under the new rules, counties are required to load the voting results from precincts onto a stand-alone “hardened” computer that cannot be connected to the Internet.

Merrill said his office provided one “hardened” laptop to each county at a total cost of $247,000.

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