Want better security of election voting results? Use paper. With the US almost halfway between the last national election and the 2018 mid-terms, not nearly enough has been done yet to improve the demonstrated insecurity of current electronic voting systems. Multiple experts say one obvious, fundamental move should be to ensure there is a paper trail for every vote. That was a major recommendation at a panel discussion this past week that included representatives of the hacker conference DefCon and the Atlantic Council think tank, which concluded that while there is progress, it is slow.
The progress includes the designation of voting systems as critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security, plus moves in Texas and Virginia to improve the security of their systems by using paper.
Most states already do that. But Lawrence Norden, co-author of a September 2015 report for the Brennan Center for Justice titled “America’s Voting Machines at Risk,” wrote in a blog post last May for The Atlantic that 14 states, “including some jurisdictions in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Texas – still use paperless electronic voting machines. These systems should be replaced as soon as possible.”