How to Ensure Election Integrity and Accuracy – 3 Essential Reads

(The Conversation is an independent, nonprofit source of news, analysis, and commentary from academic experts.)

(THE CONVERSATION) There will almost certainly be questions about the integrity of the 2022 midterm elections. the ballots. Several election experts have written for The Conversation US about ways to ensure the vote is cast and counted fairly and accurately. It all starts with paper ballots.

1. The paper is secure

Paper ballots, including those sent by mail, are not ripe for fraud, reported election law scholar Steven Mulroy at the University of Memphis:[H]Having a paper ballot is a key way to protect public confidence in elections, enabling recounts in case the machines are hacked or suffer software or hardware glitches that could affect the vote count.

Even when many people vote by mail, which Mulroy says is also a secure method of voting: database of fraud cases compiled by the Heritage Foundation, an organization concerned about voter fraud.

2. Paper is key

In fact, paper ballots are the best way to ensure votes are counted correctly, Stanford cybersecurity specialist Herbert Lin wrote:

“If hacked, an electronic voting machine cannot be trusted to count votes accurately. In an election conducted with paper ballots, the ballots themselves may be examined and recounted.

“The idea of ​​recounting votes cast electronically makes no sense,” he wrote. Without something physically marked by each individual voter, “[a]no problem…would be impossible to resolve, publicly questioning the integrity of the whole process and the validity of any outcome.

3. Manual counts are not necessary

But the use of paper ballots does not mean that counting has to be done by hand.

Vanderbilt University computer scientist Eugene Vorobeychik has been researching ways to count votes by machine – which is much faster than by hand – while still ensuring accuracy. Essentially, he said, ballots can help confirm — or not — a vote count in the event of an audit.

“[A]fter the election,” he wrote, “auditors can compare the results of electronic voting to the results documented in the paper trail. If they disagree, then something has gone wrong – either accidentally or through outside interference – and a newly verified tally of actual paper votes can be used to determine the winner.

Editor’s note: This story is a summary of articles from The Conversation archives.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here: https://theconversation.com/how-to-ensure-election-integrity-and-accuracy-3-essential-reads-193169.

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