Here’s some exciting news to start off your weekend: The Board of Elections in Virginia, one of just 13 states that still uses paperless voting machines, just UNANIMOUSLY voted to decertify ALL of the state’s paperless voting machines! This is a huge step forward and hopefully the start of a trend to secure elections in the wake of 2016’s chaos.
Verified Voting President Barbara Simons said:
“Virginia’s move to decertify all of its paperless voting machines is a critical step toward securing its elections and acknowledging that post-2016, we’re living in a brave new world where election interference from hostile foreign attackers is no longer theoretical. We all need to step up our game to secure our elections and restore voter faith that their votes will be counted as cast.”
Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines (typically touch-screen) without paper ballot back-up have been the source of controversy for years because of their unreliability in providing accurate election results. In 2011, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) found that any system that does not provide a voter-verified paper record of voter intent will be susceptible to undetectable errors in the vote count. Put simply, it is impossible to know for sure that the vote tallies generated from DRE voting machines are correct.
The decision is a significant victory, but we still have a lot of work ahead.
Unfortunately, five states still exclusively use DREs with no paper ballot back-up—including New Jersey, where voters will choose a new Governor this November, and Georgia, where issues with the state’s outdated machines flared in the 6th District Special Election earlier this year. Eight additional states use a mix of paper ballots and paperless DREs, including Pennsylvania, where roughly 80 percent of voters use obsolete and insecure paperless machines.
Tonight, let’s raise a toast to the Commonwealth of Virginia! Then let’s get back to work to ensure that ALL states have secure elections. Thanks for all you do!
 Report of the Auditability Working Group, Jan. 14, 2011, U.S. Election Assistance Commission.