Home / Technology / Pennsylvania wants more secure paper-backed voting machines, but can’t afford them yet

Pennsylvania wants more secure paper-backed voting machines, but can’t afford them yet

Pennsylvania is the most recent state to call for new voting machines that go away a paper trial — a safety measure to forestall towards hacking. But, in line with a record from AP, it’s not likely the trade will likely be made any time quickly. The directive issued by means of governor Tom Wolf used to be just for the state to shop for paper-backed machines if and when they substitute their present inventory. And as the most recent price range plan does now not come with cash for this, it’s now not transparent when the trade will occur.

Nevertheless, the inside track used to be warmly welcomed by means of teams difficult paper-backed voting machines to deal with the integrity of US elections. Marybeth Kuznik, an election pass judgement on and founding father of VotePA, a nonprofit team opposing digital-only voting, advised the AP that the order used to be “a huge step forward for Pennsylvania, for better elections. Just huge.”

According to analyze from New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, Pennsylvania is one in every of 13 states the place maximum or all citizens use purely electronic voting machines. This makes it inconceivable to double-check the rely. Paper-backed machines, by means of comparability, go away a literal paper path — both by means of a paper poll that’s scanned into an optical reader, or with a receipt that’s revealed off after every vote is solid.

Fears that US votes are at risk of being “hacked” have transform distinguished after a string of high-profile electronic safety tales all the way through the 2016 election. Government officers have showed that Russian hackers compromised voter registration rolls, but say there’s no proof their content material used to be in truth altered. Security researchers have additionally proven time and time once more that particular person voting machines are inclined to hackers, but that for the reason that gadgets aren’t networked in combination, there’s no nice danger that all of the device will likely be hacked, and votes modified at a big scale.

Experts agree, even though, that the voting machines utilized by states are dangerously old-fashioned and unreliable. Updating them must occur, and if a paper-trail makes them more secure, it kind of feels a profitable trade. Last yr, the swing-state Virginia returned to the usage of paper ballots in state elections. Pennsylvania seems like it'll apply — when it might in finding the price range.

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