Six U.S. senators have filed a bipartisan bill that would provide grants to states to help them move from paperless voting machines to paper ballots in an effort to make voting systems less vulnerable to hackers. In September, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security notified election officials in nearly two dozen states that their voter registration systems had been targeted by Russian hackers during the 2016 presidential election. While the hackers failed to breach most of the systems, in Illinois, they succeeded in accessing the voter database, and nearly 90,000 records were compromised. And in Arizona, hackers stole an election employee’s username and password, but the system wasn’t compromised, according to the Arizona secretary of state.
… Over the last decade, many states and counties abandoned electronic voting machines and turned to paper, often with equipment that tabulates the ballots using optical or digital scanners.
But five states — Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina — still use only electronic voting machines, according to Lawrence Norden of the Brennan Center for Justice, a public policy institute at New York University Law School. In eight other states, including Pennsylvania and Virginia, paperless systems are used in some counties and cities, including Philadelphia.
A Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Verified Voting Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for paper ballots and election integrity, found that in 2014, more than a quarter of registered voters lived in jurisdictions that used only electronic voting machines, most of which don’t provide a paper trail. (The Pew Research Center is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, which also funds Stateline).