Election officials face voting machine challenges ahead of 2018 midterms

Just a matter of eight months ahead of the elections of the midterm in the year 2018 and just more than over a year since Russia tried interfering in the elections of 2016, a number of election officials of both local and state still have a lot of concern about giving a proper security to their voting systems against any kind of breaches. One of the most basic securities is a paper record of each casted vote which is actually like a paper trail. But the point is that every state does not incorporate paper in the polling places. The fact is that only five states use the electronic voting machines which are actually the direct recording machines that do not possess a paper trail. This report is per one of the verified voting foundations. The five of the states are New Jersey, Delaware, Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina.

The list of the states which have some counties that uses only electronic direct recording machines with no paper trail at all are Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana, Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Kentucky and Arkansas. Without a paper trail it almost becomes impossible when auditing an election. Larry Norden who is the deputy director of the Brennan Centre for Justice's Democracy Program stated that what actually happens is that they ask their machines for a print out of a receipt. This is the reason why a transparent conduction of the election auditing or public recounts is not possible with a system that is paperless.

On the other hand, in other states which includes many in the north eastern part rely on paper ballots which are able to provide a critical back up for public recounts or an election audit is carried out. Even in places of jurisdictions which use paper, some of them do not use paper for checking voting tallies. Norden explained that it is extremely unfortunate that a lot of places have paper but they do not require a check of the system with that of the paper. Therefore, the paper can often be nothing more than just window dressing for the public and definitely not a security measure at all. Robert Mueller who is the Special Counsel laid out an indictment some time earlier this month of 13 Russians and three Russian entities for meddling in the presidential elections of 2016.

March 24, 2018 - 12:00
Posted in: