One more time: Hand Marked Paper Ballots, protected and exploited

Our Longtime Editorial Opinion

We hear a lot about protecting voting equipment and paper ballots. We talk a lot about both as well. They are not equal!

It is good to protect machines from tampering; good to test machines; and good to preserve them for post-election forensic analysis; yet, ultimately they cannot be fully protected and error free. They cannot be preserved for extended periods, they are needed for the next election.

Paper ballots are also ‘hackable’ by good old fashioned replacement, destruction, or alteration; yet they can be well protected by strong security measures and audits of security compliance. They must be exploited by sufficient, transparent, publicly verifiable audits and recounts.

Today an article in Freedom to Tinker echoing our opinion: ESS voting machine company sends threats  <read>

The ExpressVote XL, if hacked, can add, delete, or change votes on individual ballots — and no voting machine is immune from hacking. That’s why optical-scan voting machines are the way to go, because they can’t change what’s printed on the ballot. And let me explain some more: The ExpressVote XL, if adopted, will deteriorate our security and our ability to have confidence in our elections, and indeed it is a bad voting machine. And expensive, too!

The main point of the article is that ES&S is using false claims made against Dominion to intimidate others, making accurate, indisputable, scientific claims:

Apparently, ES&S must think that amongst all that confusion, the time is right to send threatening Cease & Desist letters to the legitimate critics of their ExpressVote XL voting machine. Their lawyers sent this letter to the leaders of SMART Elections, a journalism+advocacy organization in New York State who have been communicating to the New York State Board of Elections, explaining to the Board why it’s a bad idea to use the ExpressVote XL in New York (or in any state).

ES&S  machines, as far as we know, are no more or less vulnerable than other brands, however, the company exposes its lack of integrity by its unfounded intimidation.

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