The backlash against voting machines without a paper trial is underway as more are demanding the use of paper ballots across the country. The latest news comes from a really interesting article from Government Technology by Mark Niesse:
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is gauging potential vulnerabilities of the type of voting machines that will soon be used in Georgia. The federal government will work with election officials to better understand the security and auditability of voting systems, said Scott McConnell, a spokesman for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security.
“This includes helping to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities for deployed systems as well as informing the development of future systems,” McConnell said.
Georgia is preparing to buy a $150 million statewide election system with voting machines called ballot-marking devices. Like the state’s current electronic voting machines, voters using the new ballot-marking devices will choose their candidates on touchscreens. Then printers will create paper ballots for voters to review and insert into scanning computers for tabulation.
See the full story here. Even though the technology may be impressive, regular Democracy Chronicles readers might be sceptical. Democracy Chronicles is against the continued use of voting machines without a paper trial. Such machines can have a negative impact in voter confidence in election outcomes and are widely recognized as a potential vulnerability from a security standpoint. This point was expertly outlined in a great explanatory page on the website of the nonprofit fair election advocacy group, the Verified Voting Foundation:
The most important aspect of a voting system, with respect to accuracy, integrity and security, is whether or not it is independently auditable. That is, the very prerequisite to accuracy, integrity and security in today’s voting technology is that there be a voter-marked paper ballot, or at least a voter-verifiable paper audit trail, for every vote cast. This ensures that election officials will have something they can use to confirm whether or not the electronic tallies produced by the voting system accurately reflected the intention of the voters.