Here’s Where It Starts To Unravel…
Researchers have questioned the reliability of new voting machines that state and local officials have rushed to implement at their polling locations ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
“Some of the most popular ballot-marking machines, made by Election Systems & Software and Dominion Voting Systems, register votes in bar codes that the human eye cannot decipher,” according to a February report by Associated Press.
But according to researchers, that’s a problem, as “voters could end up with printouts that accurately spell out the names of the candidates they picked, but, because of a hack, the bar codes do not reflect those choices.”
“Because the bar codes are what’s tabulated, voters would never know that their ballots benefited another candidate,” the report adds.
State and local officials had reportedly rushed to replace old voting systems with the new software ahead of the 2020 presidential election out of fear of “unreliable electronic voting machines” in the wake of so-called “Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential race.”
But instead of using hand-marked paper ballots — which are most resistant to tampering due to the fact that paper cannot be hacked — many have opted out for technology that computer security experts believe to be nearly as risky as the older electronic systems.
Election Systems & Software disagrees, insisting that the security and accuracy of the company’s ballot-marking machines “have been proven through thousands of hours of testing and tens of thousands of successful elections,” according to a company spokesperson, Katina Granger.
Nonetheless, critics see the machines as vulnerable to hacking and noted that tinkerers at last year’s DefCon hacker convention in Las Vegas were able to “hack two older ballot-marking devices” in less than eight hours.
“There are a huge number of reasons to reject today’s ballot-marking devices — except for limited use as assistive devices for those unable to mark a paper ballot themselves,” said Doug Jones, a University of Iowa computer scientist.