The bugaboo of electronic voting machines has been with us since the 2000 election. Security flaws that would cause an election’s results to be called into question has been documented in the laboratory, but I have yet to hear of a definitive case in our state where the validity of an election is called into question due to the tampering of our direct-record electronic (DRE) voting machines. If someone has a documented case that has been presented before a county’s board of elections or the secretary of state’s office, please let me know.
A research team from Rice University in Austin, TX is tackling the problem or, as they phrase it, the “impending crisis” that will face elections officials: the replacement of aging DRE voter machines. From a presser issued by the University:
The quest to build STAR began three years ago when DeBeauvoir spoke at a voting technology conference and asked the academics at the conference to work with her office to create an e-voting system with security features that are lacking in today’s market. For example, most e-voting systems offer no method for conducting a meaningful recount because there are no physical records — like paper ballots — that can be tallied.
Wallach, a longtime advocate of paper ballot backups to e-voting systems, leaped at DeBeauvoir’s offer to help design a more secure e-voting alternative.
The team is hoping to have a functional system for wide-spread use by the time of the 2018 mid-term elections.