By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Election security experts are calling for an audit of California’s upcoming recall election for governor after copies of software used to run elections in some counties were released publicly.

A letter to California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley N. Weber says the “illegal public release” occurred about three weeks ago of binary images of the Dominion election management systems software. According to the Associated Press, the release happened at an event last month organized by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

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“While the software versions are not identical to those used in California, differences are relatively minor: the release materially elevates threats to the trustworthiness of the ongoing California recall election and to public trust in the election,” the letter said.

The binary images of the Dominion software have been widely downloaded according to the letter, giving an unknown number of people a chance to “study the code and find weaknesses to plan attacks on elections.”

Having copies of the election software out there “increases the risk of undetected outcome-changing cyber-attacks on California counties that use Dominion equipment and the risk of accusations of fraud and election manipulation, which, without rigorous post-election auditing, would be impossible to disprove,” the letter continued. “While the versions of the Dominion software that were released are not identical to the versions used in California, they are closely related, so this security breach imperils California elections.”

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The letter was signed by eight cybersecurity experts from UC Berkeley, Georgia Tech, University of South Carolina, Cleveland State University, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and a co-founder of Nordic Innovation Labs and Voting Village at DEFCON.

Forty counties in California use Dominion election software, but a spokeswoman for Weber’s office said that the state has a number of security measures in place to protect its voting systems, including regular testing for vulnerabilities, physical security rules, and pre-election testing.

“California has the strictest and most comprehensive voting system testing, use, and requirements in the country, and it was designed to withstand potential threats,” the statement to AP said.

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Early voting has already begun ahead of the Sept. 14 recall election. For those who would like to vote in person, Los Angeles County will open 108 vote centers this weekend. To find a vote center, go to lavote.net.