The League of Women Voters of Dane County hosted a forum Wednesday on protecting Wisconsin’s elections amid questions surrounding foreign influence in the 2016 presidential election. Panelists included University of Wisconsin political science professor Barry Burden, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism managing editor and co-founder Dee Hall and Richard Rydecki from the Wisconsin Elections Commission. While the panelists agreed that Wisconsin elections are vulnerable to security threats, they disagreed on what could cause significant errors.
“We don’t want to concern people that the election system is becoming worse or failing in some way,” Burden said. “But there are particular concerns that arose in really significant ways in 2016 that we want to deal with.”
Hall expressed concerns about electronic voting machines and how they are vulnerable to foreign hacking — a concern that arose after the 2016 presidential election.
Because voter machines can be easily breached, Hall said the state should emphasize the use of paper ballots and implement robust auditing procedures.