Aug 22, 2018

Why election security experts really like paper ballots

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The classic IT advice is to back up anything that's valuable, just in case. With computerized voting, the preferred backup is good old-fashioned paper records. And yet, 14 states have systems that either lack paper backups completely or are only…

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Why election security experts really like paper records

Aug 22, 2018
Our aging voting systems are vulnerable, but can Congress act fast enough to be effective?
J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

The classic IT advice is to back up anything that’s valuable, just in case. With computerized voting, the preferred backup is good old-fashioned paper records. And yet, 14 states have systems that either lack paper backups completely or are only partially backed up by paper. So if something goes wrong with the state’s voting system on election day — hacking or some malfunction — that means there won’t be a foolproof way to make sure votes aren’t lost. We talk with J. Alex Halderman, an election security expert at the University of Michigan, about how vulnerable our midterm elections are and why we’re not ready for an all-electronic voting system. (08/22/18)

 

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