Election administrators in Virginia ordered the state’s remaining touch-screen electronic voting machines be taken out of service in advance of the coming statewide election, after hackers demonstrated vulnerabilities in an array of election technology at a recent security convention. Virginia, one of two states holding statewide elections for governor and state legislature this year, won’t use any touch-screen machines in the Nov. 7 general election after the State Board of Elections voted Friday to revoke the certifications on all such systems still being used in the state. Virginia will switch to paper ballots counted and processed by computerized scanners. James Alcorn, chair of the board, said in a statement the move was “necessary to ensure the integrity of Virginia’s elections.” … The decision by Virginia to stop using touch-screen electronic voting machines marks a victory for advocates who have long criticized paperless electronic voting systems as insecure and potentially vulnerable to tampering and mischief.
“Paperless voting machines with no paper backups should never have been used in the first place,” said Barbara Simons, president of the nonpartisan group Verified Voting that advocates for a paper trail and random audits. She said she hoped other states would follow Virginia’s lead in eliminating systems with no paper backups to bolster security and public confidence in their elections.
Use of touch-screen machines peaked in 2006, according to data from the Pew Research Center and Verified Voting. Most voters now use what are called optical-scan systems—voting by paper ballots that are then scanned and counted by computerized scanners. Other electronic voting machines also have paper backups in response to concerns about integrity.
Verified Voting estimates that 20% to 25% of the U.S. population still votes on electronic machine with no paper backups.
Full Article: Virginia Ends Use of Touch-Screen Voting Machines – WSJ.