States (and foreign governments) moving half way toward verifiable election results

From Governing:  After 2016 Election Hacks, Some States Return to Paper Ballots<read>

Across the U.S., about a quarter of registered voters live in election districts with electronic ballots, but Virginia’s decision “could suggest that the DRE era in American elections is approaching its end,” wrote Doug Chapin, an elections expert from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, on his blog.

Five states — Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina — still use only electronic machines. Another handful of states have a mix of electronic and paper-based machines, depending on the local jurisdiction.

“I do hope that they’ll notice what happened in Virginia,” says Barbara Simons, president of Verified Voting, a national group that supports paper ballots and regular audits of election results. “No elected official wants to be accused of using insecure voting technology, especially with all of the questions raised in 2016.”

The threat of cyberhacks, however, is not the only problem facing election agencies.

The Independent, via VerifiedVoting: Norway: Votes to be counted manually in fear of election hacking <read>

Norway is the second country in Europe to change the way it counts votes. The Netherlands decided to count its March 15 parliamentary elections manually after broadcaster RTL interviewed security experts and hackers who said software security was weak. One hacker claimed an average iPad is better protected than the Dutch electoral system.

We applaud these developments. Yet, what is needed beyond paper ballots are effective post-election audits, those that verify result and can lead to changing incorrect initial outcomes.  Audits that also verify the accumulation of results across jurisdictions;  Audits that check other aspects of the process as checkin, checkin to ballots counts, and ballot security.


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