Media Release: Election Security Experts Applaud City of Fairfax, VA and Orange County, CA for Leading in New Election Integrity Methods

New Reports from Verified Voting Show How Risk-Limiting Audits in California and Virginia Can Improve Election Security and Public Confidence Robust post-election audits are changing the election security landscape and the City of Fairfax, Virginia and Orange County, California are leading the way. Risk-limiting audits (RLAs) of voter-marked paper ballots can promote election security and…

Voting Blogs: Florida is the Florida of ballot-design mistakes | Andrew Appel/Freedom to Tinker

This article was originally posted at Freedom to Tinker on November 14, 2018.

Well designed ballot layouts allow voters to make their intentions clear; badly designed ballots invite voters to make mistakes.  This year, the Florida Senate race may be decided by a misleading ballot layout—a layout that violated the ballot design recommendations of the Election Assistance Commission. In Miami, Florida in the year 2000, the badly designed “butterfly ballot” misled over 2000 voters who intended to vote for Al Gore, to throw away their vote.  (That’s a strong statement, but it’s backed up by peer-reviewed scientific analysis.) In Sarasota, Florida in the year 2006, in a Congressional race decided by 369 votes, over 18,000 voters failed to vote in that race, almost certainly because of a badly designed touch-screen ballot layout. In Broward County, Florida in the year 2018, it appears that a bad optical-scan ballot design caused over 26,000 voters to miss voting in the Senate race, where the margin of victory (as of this writing, not yet final) is 12,562 votes.

Media Release: Verified Voting Outlines Steps Voters Can Take to Report Problems on Election Day

Recent reports of possible threats to voting systems and registration databases are alarming, but voters should not be deterred from voting this Election Day. Election officials at the state-level are more prepared for cybersecurity threats or problems with computers than they were two years ago.

“The only way to ensure your vote doesn’t count is if you don’t vote,” said Marian K. Schneider, president of Verified Voting.

Verified Voting urges voters who notice anything wrong with their voter registration or at their polling place to call the Election Protection Hotline: 866-OUR VOTE / 1-888-Ve-y-vota or check out 866OURVOTE.org. Voters should also report any problems to their local county board of elections or to the Secretary of State’s office or both. Doing so will allow officials to understand how widespread the issue is and assist in efforts to pinpoint the cause.

For statewide information about polling place equipment, please visit the Verifier.

Media Release: Verified Voting Calls on Texas to Investigate Straight-Ticket Voting Issues; Voters Should Carefully Check Choices

Marian K. Schneider: “Verified Voting urges Secretary of State Rolando Pablos to move Texas toward reliable, verifiable voting systems that include a voter-marked paper ballot statewide.” The following is a statement from Marian K. Schneider, president of Verified Voting, in response to reports that voters in six counties in Texas (Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Travis,…

Verified Voting Blog: An unverifiability principle for voting machines | Andrew Appel

This article was originally posted at Freedom to Tinker on October 22, 2018. In my last three articles I described the ES&S ExpressVote, the Dominion ImageCast Evolution, and the Dominion ImageCast X (in its DRE+VVPAT configuration).  There’s something they all have in common: they all violate a certain principle of voter verifiability. Any voting machine whose physical hardware can…

Verified Voting Blog: Continuous-roll VVPAT under glass: an idea whose time has passed | Andrew Appel

This article was originally posted at Freedom to Tinker on October 19, 2018. States and counties should not adopt DRE+VVPAT voting machines such as the Dominion ImageCast X and the ES&S ExpressVote. Here’s why. Touchscreen voting machines (direct-recording electronic, DRE) cannot be trusted to count votes, because (like any voting computer) a hacker may have…

Verified Voting Blog: Design flaw in Dominion ImageCast Evolution voting machine | Andrew Appel

This article was originally posted at Freedom to Tinker on October 16, 2018. The Dominion ImageCast Evolution looks like a pretty good voting machine, but it has a serious design flaw: after you mark your ballot, after you review your ballot, the voting machine can print more votes on it!. Fortunately, this design flaw has been patented by a…

Media Release: What Would an Attack on the U.S. Elections Look Like?

Election Experts to Discuss How Hackers Might Target Voter Rolls, Registration in the 2018 Elections, What Signs to Look For and How to Respond. For more information, please contact Aurora Matthews, aurora@newheightscommunications.com, (301)-221-7984. What Press call to discuss election day security preparedness and “What Would a 2018 Election Hack Look Like?” When Monday, October 15,…

Media Release: Wisconsin Proves It’s Not Too Late for States to Take Key Election Security Steps Before November

Nearly 20 U.S. States Do Not Audit Election Results by Checking Paper Ballots Against Machine Counts or Lack a Paper Ballot to Conduct Effective Audits WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wisconsin’s action last week requiring a post-election audit will help secure the November vote and should be followed by states that lack such protections, according to Public…

Verified Voting Blog: Verified Voting Testimony before the Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee

Written Testimony of Verified Voting.org President Marian K. Schneider before the Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee Public Hearing on Senate Bill 1249 and Voting Machine Demonstration, September 25, 2018. Download as PDF.

Thank you Chairman Folmer, Minority Chair Williams, and members of the Committee for allowing Verified Voting to submit written testimony in connection with the Senate State Government Committee hearing. We write to address the security risks presented for Pennsylvania’s counties and the need to expeditiously replace aging and vulnerable electronic voting systems. We urge the Committee to recommend that the Commonwealth appropriate adequate funding to permit counties to replace their aging electronic voting systems as soon as possible.

Verified Voting is a national non-partisan, non-profit research and advocacy organization committed to safeguarding elections in the digital age. Founded by computer scientists, Verified Voting’s mission is to advocate for the responsible use of emerging technologies to ensure that Americans can be confident their votes will be cast as intended and counted as cast. We promote auditable, accessible and resilient voting for all eligible citizens. Our board of directors and board of advisors include some of the top computer scientists, cyber security experts and statisticians working in the election administration arena as well as former and current elections officials. Verified Voting has no financial interest in the type of equipment used. Our goal is for every jurisdiction in the United States to have secure and verifiable elections.

There are two basic kinds of electronic voting systems in use in Pennsylvania: Direct recording electronic (DRE) or optical scan systems. Both types of systems are computers, and both are prepared in similar ways. The primary difference is that an optical scan system incorporates a voter-marked paper ballot, marked either with a pen or pencil or with a ballot marking device and that ballot is retained for recounts or audits. Optical scan systems leverage the speed of the computer to report unofficial results quickly. The presence and availability of that paper ballot provides a trustworthy record of voter intent and allows jurisdictions to monitor their system for problems, detect any problems, (either hacking or error), respond to them and recover by, if necessary, hand counting the paper ballots. Seventeen counties in Pennsylvania already benefit from the security protection of paper ballots.

Verified Voting Blog: Serious design flaw in ESS ExpressVote touchscreen: “permission to cheat” | Andrew Appel

This article was originally posted at the Freedom to Tinker blog. Kansas, Delaware, and New Jersey are in the process of purchasing voting machines with a serious design flaw, and they should reconsider while there is still time! Over the past 15 years, almost all the states have moved away from paperless touchscreen voting systems…

Verified Voting Blog: Four ways to defend democracy and protect every voter’s ballot | Douglas W. Jones

This article was originally posted at phys.org. As voters prepare to cast their ballots in the November midterm elections, it’s clear that U.S. voting is under electronic attack. Russian government hackers probed some states’ computer systems in the runup to the 2016 presidential election and are likely to do so again – as might hackers…

Verified Voting Blog: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine releases report on “The Future of Voting”

Today the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report on election security, “Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy.” The Committee for The Future of Voting, which includes Verified Voting Board member Ron Rivest and Advisory Board member Andrew Appel, released the report at a public event in Washington, DC, where the report’s…

Media Release: Audit Language of the Secure Elections Act Falls Short of Standard for Effective Election Cyberdefense

Marian K. Schneider: “Verified Voting cannot in good conscience support the Secure Elections Act unless the previous audit language of the bill is restored” The following is a statement from Marian K. Schneider, president of Verified Voting, formerly Deputy Secretary for Elections and Administration in the Pennsylvania Department of State, regarding the Chairman’s mark of…

Verified Voting Blog: Pamela Smith: Testimony Submitted to the Little Hoover Commission

Download Testimony as a PDF Honorable Members of the Commission: I serve as Senior Advisor to Verified Voting, a national non-partisan non-profit educational and advocacy organization committed to safeguarding elections in the digital age. Verified Voting advocates for the responsible use of emerging technologies to ensure that Americans can be confident their votes will be…

Post Election Audits: Verified Voting’s Guide to RLAs in One Infographic

Verified Voting debuted its latest infographic, “A Flowchart for Conducting Risk-Limiting Audits,” at the National Association of Secretaries of States (NASS) 2018 Summer Conference in Philadelphia. In addition to sharing this with election officials at the conferences this summer, Verified Voting is working closely with jurisdictions to demonstrate how to implement robust post-election audits. Check…

Media Release: Security Experts Call on ES&S to Provide States with Steps to Disable Problematic Software Installed on Voting Machines

Marian K. Schneider: “Verified Voting calls on all the voting system vendors to be full partners in the effort to secure our elections.” The following is a statement from Marian K. Schneider, president of Verified Voting, following news that ES&S, the country’s top voting-machine maker, admitted installing problematic remote-access software on election-management systems that it…

Verified Voting Blog: Verified Voting’s Guide to Election Security in One Infographic

Verified Voting has gone visual! In addition to recently collaborating with the Wall Street Journal and NPR on maps depicting voting technology across the states, Verified Voting created its own infographic: “Safeguarding Our Elections: The Solutions to Vulnerabilities in Election Security.” The infographic is the first in a series of visuals Verified Voting is creating.…

Media Release: Toolkit Advises Advocates and Election Officials on How to Secure the Nation’s Voting Machines

A joint project from Verified Voting, the Brennan Center, Common Cause and the National Election Defense Coalition suggests ways states can use Congressional election security funds. Download the toolkit as a PDF. For additional media inquires, please contact aurora@newheightscommunications.com. A new toolkit designed for advocates and election officials offers suggestions for best practices for conducting…

Verified Voting Blog: Letter to State Election Officials on Best Practices for Voting Funds

Download letter as PDF On March 23rd, Congress allocated $380 million to states to upgrade election security. This is a positive development. In the age of unprecedented hacking risks, researchers have found that electronic voting infrastructure — including voting machines and registration databases — have serious vulnerabilities. While there’s no evidence that vote totals were…

Verified Voting Blog: Federal Funds for Election Security: Will They Cover the Costs of Voter Marked Paper Ballots?

Download the Brennan Center/Verified Voting Full Report (PDF) Under the terms of the omnibus spending bill voted on by the House, states will receive $380 million within months to start to strengthen the security of our nation’s election infrastructure. This near-term funding is the product of tireless work by members of both parties, and a…

Media Release: Senate Intelligence Committee’s Recommendations Outline Urgent Need for Paper Ballots, Post-Election Audits

Marian K. Schneider: “The recommendations…make the case that states need immediate federal support to build a stronger defense.” (March 21 2018) — The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a report today about Russian targeting of election infrastructure during the 2016 election. Read the full set of recommendations here. The following is a statement from…

Media Release: Verified Voting Opposes Georgia’s Current Voting Machine Legislation

Marian K. Schneider: “[T]he current bill will perpetuate the cycle of unverifiable voting in Georgia. Verified Voting cannot support the bill unless significant changes are made.” The following is a statement from Marian K. Schneider, president of Verified Voting, about why Georgia’s current Senate Bill 403 cannot ensure a verifiable and accurate election system. For…