Citing security concerns, Colorado has become the first state to stop counting ballots with printed barcodes.
The state’s secretary of state told CNN she felt it was a necessary step to ensure Colorado maintains its position as a national leader on election security.
The decision is a further step toward prioritizing the role of human eye, rather than computers to count votes.
In recent years — after researchers have repeatedly demonstrated it’s possible to hack many voting machines in particular circumstances and the US intelligence community detailed Russia’s interference in the 2016 election — both government and industry leaders have reached a general consensus that the US needs to use paper ballots so that elections can be properly audited.
But some states have purchased voting machines that print out a paper receipt with either a QR (short for “quick response”) or a more traditional barcode — something a computer can read, but a human cannot — which can then be easily scanned and tallied to represent a voter’s choices.
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