Citing security concerns, the Virginia Board of Elections announced last Friday that it will stop using electronic voting machines in the state. The board’s action is the latest sign that state and local election agencies are trying to address growing concerns that the nation’s election infrastructure is vulnerable to hacking. During the 2016 presidential election, Russia targeted voting systems in 21 states, according to U.S. officials. Though U.S. security officials say the cyberbreach did not impact vote-counting, they have warned of future, and more intrusive, attacks. Some states — including Virginia and Georgia, which recently announced a pilot program to use paper ballots — hope eliminating the use of electronic ballots will reduce the threat of cyberattacks.
… Five states — Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina — still use only electronic machines. Another handful of states have a mix of electronic and paper-based machines, depending on the local jurisdiction.
“I do hope that they’ll notice what happened in Virginia,” says Barbara Simons, president of Verified Voting, a national group that supports paper ballots and regular audits of election results. “No elected official wants to be accused of using insecure voting technology, especially with all of the questions raised in 2016.”