We need recounts for more than fair elections, for more than Russian risks.

CNN:  For fair elections … can we get a recount? <read>

We should not ignore calls for audits, recounts, and paper ballots just because the motivator for those calls may be simplistic.  There are a multitude  of risks beyond Russians, beyond foreigners, beyond skullduggery. Its not just fairness, it is accuracy and democracy.

The latest reporting regarding the scope of attempted Russian cyber-interference in the 2016 presidential election suggests election officials made a mistake in ending efforts to recount the contest in key states. Those recounts offered the best opportunity to identify and resolve issues that are now coming to light. We should study our errors to avoid repeating them — and to make sure recounts in the future are better at detecting hacking and other threats.

Post-election efforts to recount the 2016 presidential vote did not get far. For example, the Michigan recount was shut down after just three days; a federal judge rejected a request to recount paper ballots in Pennsylvania; and while Wisconsin did conduct a recount, in many counties, officials neglected to hand-count paper ballots and did not examine vulnerable software in electronic voting machines.

Just as Donald Trump continues to resist the finding that Russia manipulated our democratic process, he furiously contested the need to investigate the vote…

One clear area of vulnerability then and now is our reliance on electronic voting machines and vote tabulating machines without conducting any meaningful post-election audits. Like any other technology, these devices can fail in unexpected ways. They can have bugs that might produce an incorrect result. When irregularities occur in an election — such as the approximately 84,000 ballots in Michigan on which there were reportedly no selections marked for president — we need to see if an error is to blame.


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