Though technology has improved significantly in the last several years, particularly where data security is concerned, the fact remains that in many cases, the machines used for Americans' voting efforts in a few weeks remain somewhat insecure.
Efforts to improve the security of voting machines used in local, state, and national elections have been considerable in the last several years, but new data suggests that in many cases, it still falls short, and therefore makes election fraud a very real possibility, according to a report from the Caltech-MIT Voting Technology Project
. Part of the problem with these efforts is that in many cases, government authorities have tried to standardize security requirements.
A more reasonable approach might be to count by hand using a large random sample of paper records of votes cast electronically, the report suggested. This will help to ensure that polling data is reflected far more accurately.
And given the volume of areas in which electronic voting or counting of some kind will take place - about 60 percent of all counties nationwide - the importance of making sure of the integrity of votes is at perhaps the highest it’s ever been, the report said. Fortunately, in the last 10 years or more (potentially due to the controversy and fallout surrounding recounts in the 2000 presidential election), there has been a significant shift away from all-electronic voting systems, and toward those that make it easier to verify actual votes with a physical paper trail.
In particular, the state of California has been vigilant in increasing these safeguards so that it can be assured of greater security of ballots cast by its voters, the report said. The state decertified all direct-record electronic voting machines - perhaps the most infamous of which were manufactured by Diebold and, again, played a crucial role in the 2000 election - back in 2007.
In that election 12 years ago, experts estimate that between four million and six million votes were simply lost nationwide as a result of problems caused by voting equipment, as well as due to problems verifying whether voters were actually registered, the report said. However, this time around, that number is expected to be far lower as a result of these greater efforts to introduce more safeguards.Adam Levin
, chief information security officer for IDentity Theft
911, has a blog about the ways in which security concerns of all types can affect consumers.
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