Paper ballots may seem like an antiquated voting practice, but hacking fears are now pushing an increasing number of states toward a return to the basics. State legislatures and election directors are heeding warnings from Washington that hackers may tamper with electronic voting systems in the 2018 midterm elections. The U.S. intelligence community has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a campaign to interfere with the 2016 presidential election and that the Kremlin will try to do so again. On the national level, lawmakers have made several attempts to push legislation aiming to strengthen election cybersecurity through grants to upgrade equipment and to increase cooperation between the federal government and lower jurisdictions. So far, no such legislation has passed either chamber of Congress. Amid all this national attention, a number of states have started to act on their own bolster the integrity of elections they run. With these states, the focus has been on doing away with direct-recording electronic voting machines (DREs) that don’t produce a paper record.
… “You have to have the ability to recover,” Marian Schneider, president of Verified Voting, told CyberScoop. Verified Voting is a nonprofit that advocates for transparency in the election process. “When you talk about voting systems, the way you have the ability to recover is that you have a voter-marked paper ballot, and you have a human process that checks that paper ballot against the software-driven process.”
… Schneider, of Verified Voting, said she sees the issue of election security wrongfully getting politicized. “I don’t think this is a political issue. Everybody gets elected on the same equipment, regardless of their party. So making sure that that equipment is working well, making sure that we can verify the results so that the outcome is correct is important to everyone,” Schneider said.