… At a campaign rally in Altoona, Pa., on Aug. 12 [Trump] alleged that a poor showing could only mean one thing: “The only way we can lose, in my opinion — I really mean this, Pennsylvania — is if cheating goes on. I really believe it.” Trump said, alluding to political subterfuge from the Clinton campaign. Since that rally, Trump has held to these assertions of foul play while his critics have cast them as highly dangerous for the democratic process. However, for those close to the matter — voting officials and voters’ rights groups — the conspiracy theory is a bit bewildering. Pamela Smith, the president of VerifiedVoting.org, is among these. Her organization — a nonpartisan voting advocacy, accountability and research group — has gained notoriety since it was founded in 2003 for its work tracking election tech, legislation and voting procedures. In this time, Smith said incidents of voter fraud and rigged elections have been nearly nonexistent. “It’s frustrating because I think a lot of people may get the mistaken impression that there are some major areas of vulnerability,“ Smith said. “But they may not be aware of things election officials do already, or the true scope of the issue.” A look at current and historical data, said Smith, indicates that the potential for cheating is uniquely limited. Voter ID fraud is nearly nonexistent; purchasing votes is too tricky to cover up, at least at a national or county level; and hacking voting machines and software is ineffectual since usage of the systems is low and controlled. “Because our elections are really decentralized, it’s also not like there’s a single point of vulnerability out of 9,000 jurisdictions we have in the U.S.,” Smith said.
To illustrate this point, and other insights, VerifiedVoting.org has an interactive map that monitors voting technology. The civic tech tool enables users to drill down state by state, and county by county, to see how voters are using technology. “As you look at it, you can see that there are a lot of paper ballots, there are a lot of recountable, auditable voting systems across the country,” Smith said. “In fact, there’s really only a handful of states now that are exclusively using electronic voting machines. These she said are Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, Louisiana and South Carolina — only two of which, Georgia and South Carolina, are battleground states.
Yet even for these states, the voting machines at polling stations are disconnected from the Internet as a safeguard, and instead, mark the ballot selections directly into memory cards. Other electronic voting systems, like optical scanners, still require voters to use paper ballots that can be audited, and used for tallies in case of a recount. The latest trend in voting, Smith said, is tech that leverages both digital and paper forms. Voters note choices digitally while paper receipts are print out as fail safes for what officials have dubbed a “voter-verifiable paper audit trail” (VVPAT).
“Really more than probably 75 percent of voters will vote on a machine or on a physical ballot, or on a physical machine that has a paper trail printout they get to look at and check,” Smith said.
… “I think that’s the big thing,” said Smith. “Even if you are completely uninterested in the presidential contest, a lot of people may not know we vote on many other issues, things that affect on our lives in very real ways.”
Full Article: Data Shows Trump’s Election-Rigging Claim is Unlikely.