The return of paper ballots for all Virginia voters, a process begun a decade ago and accelerated by the threat of hacks of computerized voting machines, has kicked into high gear a month before the next state election. Edgardo Cortés, Virginia’s commissioner of elections, said last week all of the commonwealth’s cities, towns and counties will use paper ballots and electronic scanners on Nov. 7, ensuring voting and tabulation are secure. “The issue here is not whether it’s hackable or not,” Cortés said in an interview. “The issue is if you end up with some kind of question, you have those paper ballots you can go back to.” The danger is not theoretical.
… The change to a paper-based ballot system will make Virginia’s process “one of the very best” in the country, said Barbara Simons, president of the nonpartisan Verified Voting.
“In far too much of the country, people are voting on insecure machines,” said Simons, who has written a book about electronic voting machines and whose work led to the cancellation of Defense Department Internet voting project. “The very idea that a local election officer without enough money or technical expertise would be able to protect these machines is absurd.”