Eight months out from the 2018 midterms, and over a year since the Russians allegedly tried to interfere in the 2016 elections, many state and and local election officials are still concerned about guarding their voting systems against breaches. One of the most basic safeguards is a paper record of each vote — a paper trail. But not every state incorporates paper in its polling place practices. In fact, five states only use electronic voting machines, known as direct-recording electronic (DRE) machines, that don’t have a paper trail, according to the Verified Voting Foundation. … The lack of a paper trail makes auditing an election basically impossible.
“What happens is they ask their machines to print out a receipt that says exactly what it said the first time,” said Larry Norden, deputy director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program. “You don’t have the ability to conduct transparent, public recounts or audits with a paperless system that you do with paper.”
… All voting machines used in the U.S. are susceptible to hacking, warned Norden, who said there are “plenty of examples” of attacks against tally servers, election night reporting and registration systems — “things that can be used to cast doubt on the vote totals.”