In an era when shadowy hackers can snatch secret government files and humble big businesses with seeming ease, it’s an unavoidable question as Election Day approaches: When we go to the polls, could our very votes be at risk? According to voting-security experts, the answer can be boiled down to a bit of campaign-speak: There are reasons for concern and there is work to be done but, by and large, we’re better off now than we were four years ago. “In general terms, the nation as a whole is moving toward more resilient, more recountable, evidence-based voting systems and that’s a good thing,” said Pamela Smith, president of the Verified Voting Foundation. “We’re better off than we were a couple of election cycles ago by a long shot and we’re better off than we were in the last election, too. “We’re seeing improvement, but we’re still seeing immense challenges.”
… With an eye to the future, elections officials throughout the United States have stopped purchasing machines that don’t create a paper trail, with a return to optical- or digital-scanner machines using paper ballots being the preferred alternative.
Some states are retrofitting electronic voting machines with hardware that creates a paper ballot as well. Smith said it has been about seven years since the last significant purchase of electronic-only voting machines in the United States.
“It’s not always the newest, shiniest thing that’s the best thing and, in voting, that tends to be particularly true,” she said.
In the meantime, she’s got a simple piece of advice for anyone worried about the security of their ballot.
“The most important thing for voters to keep in mind is that one way to make sure your vote won’t count is to not show up,” she said. “Whatever system is presented to you, avail yourself of it.”
Full Article: How secure is your electronic vote? – CNN.com.