Amazon has expanded dramatically into the state and local election infrastructure across the US, with more than 40 states and presidential candidate Joe Biden using its technology.
Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) election services are now used by America’s two main political parties and the federal body responsible for administering campaign finance laws.
According to a new expose by Reuters, which reviewed previously unseen documents and interviewed dozens of lawmakers and election officials, AWS now takes care of election websites, voter registration rolls and ballot data and even helps to provide election night results.
However, it does not handle actual voting on election days.
Following the spate of cyber attacks on voting systems during the controversial 2016 US election, election administrators were understood to be struggling with outdated systems.
Amazon offered a low-cost solution to replacing these systems, a move which was reportedly welcomed.
“Some of the largest presidential, congressional and gubernatorial campaigns are also trusted to AWS,” Amazon’s leader of public health and US elections Michael Jackson told clients in a webinar viewed by Reuters.
Biden, who is currently the democratic party’s presidential frontrunner, uses AWS to run his campaign’s fundraising operations, while both the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee’s websites are also run by Amazon’s technology.
The centralisation of the US voting system via AWS has raised some security concerns, as one successful attack on Amazon’s servers could spell disaster for huge swathes of the country.
Despite this, Amazon is far harder to hack than the systems it is replacing, and many believe this will increase security.
Chief deputy country clerk of Travis County in Texas Ron Morgan said: “We think (AWS) provides us with the best available level of security.
“Is it bullet proof? I don’t know. But is it a very, very hard target? Absolutely.”