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Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Thirty cybersecurity, election security, and computer science experts sent a letter Tuesday to the Department of Homeland Security and the Election Assistance Commission requesting they discourage states from using wireless modems in their voting systems, according to the letter, which Axios obtained.

Why it matters: Many voting machines around the country are capable of using wireless cellular modems to transfer unofficial post-election results. Election officials say these modems operate on networks separate from the internet, but, according to the experts' letter, this is not always true and can leave the systems vulnerable.

The details: The letter was sent to Robert Kolasky, the director of the National Risk Management Center of the National Programs and Protectorate Center at DHS; EAC Chair Tom Hicks; and EAC Vice Chair Christy McCormick. The EAC confirmed receipt of the letter. DHS would not comment on the letter as a matter of policy.

What they're saying: "The convenience of transmitting vote totals online does not outweigh the need of the American people to be assured their votes will be accurately transmitted and counted," the experts write in the letter. "Importantly, cellular networks are typically beyond the security control of election officials and the federal government."

  • Signers hail from universities including Princeton and Harvard, as well as the Center for Democracy & Technology, OSET Institute, Common Cause, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Electronic Frontier Foundation, National Election Defense Coalition, and Protect Democracy.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.

Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to use a $908 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief framework as a basis for jumpstarting negotiations.

Why it matters: The framework, introduced by a group of bipartisan senators on Tuesday, calls for significantly less funding than Pelosi had previously demanded — a sign that Democrats are ready to further compromise as millions of Americans endure economic hardship.

Scoop: Uber in talks to sell air taxi business to Joby

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber is in advanced talks to sell its Uber Elevate unit to Joby Aviation, Axios has learned from multiple sources. A deal could be announced later this month.

Between the lines: Uber Elevate was formed to develop a network of self-driving air taxis, but to date has been most notable for its annual conference devoted to the nascent industry.