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Is YOUR State's Voting System Under Cyber-Attack?

by Countable | 6.7.17

With recent news regarding Russian interference with VR Systems, a U.S. company that provides election services and systems, including voter registration, it seems timely to review what the different ballot submission systems are in each of the states.

No vote collection system is connected to the internet, protecting it somewhat from hacking interference, but many voter registration systems and records are now internet connected. This leaves them much more vulnerable to outside interference.

First, a review of voting systems used in U.S. states as of September 2016:

  • Optical Scan Paper Ballot Systems: Voters mark their votes by filling in an oval, box, or similar shape on a paper ballot. Later, the paper ballots are scanned either at the polling place or at a central location.

  • Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Systems: DRE systems employ computers that record votes directly into the computers' memory. These interfaces may incorporate touchscreens, dials, or mechanical buttons. The voter's choices are stored by the computer on a cartridge or hard drive. Some DRE systems are also equipped with a printer, which the voter may use to confirm his or her choices before committing them to the computer's memory. The paper records can be preserved to be tabulated in case of an audit or recount.

  • Ballot Marking Devices and Systems: These systems are designed to help disabled voters who might be unable to vote using other methods. Most devices utilize a touchscreen along with audio or other accessibility features. Rather than recording the vote into the computer's memory, the ballot is instead marked on paper and later tabulated manually.

  • Punch Card Voting Systems: These devices employ a paper card and a small clipboard device. A voter punches holes in the card to mark his or her vote. The pattern of holes in the card indicates the votes cast. The ballot may then be placed in a box to be tabulated manually or scanned by a computer later.

  • Additionally, some jurisdictions use paper ballots that are manually counted at the polling place. Other jurisdictions use these paper ballots for absentee or provisional voting.

Here are the systems by state, alphabetically listed. If you want to get into the details by county for states that use more than one system, check here:

Alabama: paper

Alaska: paper and DRE with paper trail

Arizona: paper and DRE with paper trail

Arkansas: paper and DRE with and without paper trail

California: paper and DRE with paper trail

Colorado: mail of paper ballot

Connecticut: paper ballot

Delaware: DRE without paper trail

District of Columbia: paper and DRE with paper trail

Florida: paper and DRE without paper trail

Georgia: DRE without paper trail

Hawaii: DRE with paper trail

Idaho: paper and DRE with paper trail

Illinois: paper and DRE with paper trail

Indiana: paper and DRE without paper trail

Iowa: paper ballot

Kansas: paper and DRE with and without paper trail

Kentucky: paper and DRE without paper trail

Louisiana: DRE without paper trail

Maine: paper ballot

Maryland: paper ballot

Massachusetts: paper ballot

Michigan: paper ballot

Minnesota: paper ballot

Mississippi: paper and DRE with and without paper trail

Missouri: paper and DRE with paper trail

Montana: paper ballot

Nebraska: paper ballot

Nevada: DRE with paper trail

New Hampshire: paper ballot

New Jersey: DRE without paper trail

New Mexico: paper ballot

New York: paper ballot

North Carolina: paper and DRE with paper trail

North Dakota: paper ballot

Ohio: paper and DRE with paper trail

Oklahoma: paper ballot

Oregon: mail of paper ballot

Pennsylvania: paper and DRE without paper trail

Puerto Rico: paper ballot

Rhode Island: paper ballot

South Carolina: DRE without paper trail

South Dakota: paper ballot

Tennessee: paper and DRE without paper trail

Texas: paper and DRE without paper trail

Utah: paper and DRE with paper trail

Vermont: paper ballot

Virginia: paper and DRE without paper trail

Washington: mail of paper ballot

West Virginia: paper and DRE with paper trail

Wisconsin: paper and DRE with paper trail

Wyoming: paper and DRE with paper trail

What do you think of your state’s vote collection and tabulation method? Use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Slideplayer.com)

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(115)
  • Kyle
    06/07/2017
    ···

    I've been writing to my reps and senators since 2000 about the need to move away from computerized, software based ballot boxes and voter verification. Having served as an election judge for a half dozen elections, I have witnessed alarming idiosyncrasies and disenfranchisement. These problems are NOT voter fraud but rather voter manipulation. Use a closed system or manual ballots read by scantron.

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  • Sylvan
    06/07/2017
    ···

    The only insidious threat attacking my state's voting system is Republican gerrymandering.

    Like (61)
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  • Isabel
    06/07/2017
    ···

    Voting system should have both computer & paper to protect our votes. Paper would. E the back up

    Like (43)
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  • JaredThePoet
    06/07/2017
    ···

    Nowadays we cannot rely on computer systems alone. All states should require paper and electronic votes, so that we have a paper trail to compare against electronic record. This should ensure that our votes are accurate and counted correctly.

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  • L0u15e.N032L
    06/08/2017
    ···

    We clearly need to upgrade the security of our voting system. Another example of giving tax breaks to those who have so much and not making the investments America needs. Let's stop and invest in ourselves. Not wealthy people who don't need more tax breaks, but all of us and our country.

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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    06/07/2017
    ···

    I would like to know if VR Systems is the same software program or similar system that allowed Republicans to corruptly and unethically rig the 2000 and 2004 elections in favor of The Grand 'W' in Florida and Ohio. How will American citizens be guaranteed that the Republicans can never do this again, or any other party or group?

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  • Ochoninja
    06/07/2017
    ···

    How about adding a fingerprint scan?

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  • Melanie
    06/07/2017
    ···

    Don't know. Don't how I would know. Maybe I am not the only Democrat in Tx. With the illegal way the Republicans draw districts in Texas, it is as effective as hacking.

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  • mikesindahouse
    06/07/2017
    ···

    Seems like anything computerized is hackable these days. America is nothing without a reliable system of democratic process. As such we need to ensure the registration database and polling information gathered and held by VR systems is secure. We also need to have a way to backup and validate that information so we can confirm that it hasn't been hacked and tampered with. Also there needs to be a bi-partisan oversight panel to review any issues that were to arise relating to hacking, tampering, voter fraud, and voter registration. The information presented to and gathered by that panel should be subject to the freedom of information act so the American people can audit the system at any time.

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  • Jeffrey
    06/07/2017
    ···

    A paper ballot MUST be available for recounts!!!!

    Like (12)
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  • Wallace
    06/08/2017
    ···

    I don't know but we should make sure that our elections are free from tampering! Is our president legit?

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  • Blair
    06/07/2017
    ···

    I am a constituent from 80123 and I can't believe we allow any state to vote electronically without paper trails, let alone the ones known to be home to the most vote disrupting, corrupt, gerrymandering Republicans of all (the south). This is horrifying and we should not let it continue as such.

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  • Antonice
    06/07/2017
    ···

    There should be a back up. Whatever system that each state uses, it needs to be secured to prevent a reoccurrence from outside meddling. Hopefully, this is being taken care of as we type. We cannot continually have wrenches thrown into what is suppose to be an election for and BY the people.

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  • Andrew
    06/07/2017
    ···

    We would never have known about Trump's pal hacking into our voting software but for one courageous young lady. The scumbag Republicans would have kept it hidden from us and kept colluding with their Russian buddies. Now they're prosecuting her instead of the Russians.

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  • Michael
    06/07/2017
    ···

    We have some of the largest technology firms in the world. They have been protecting user data for years without issue. Why are not contracting them to secure our government networks?

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  • Tracy
    06/08/2017
    ···

    The lack of internet connectivity guards against vote tampering, yet votes irrefutably are manipulated anyway, whether by mistake or intent, i.e.: Wisconsin's 1,000 phantom votes all cast for Trump. And those were caught only because the three precincts involved had vote totals exceeding the number of votes cast. Florida is one of the states in question with this latest news. Trump "won" by 100,000 in Florida, and Florida has 29 electoral college votes. If the vote was manipulated by over 50,000, Clinton won Florida.

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  • Lisa
    06/07/2017
    ···

    We need an independent commission like we did for 9/11 to investigate thoroughly everything that the Russians have done and are capable of doing. The results of the past election and the next election should be important to everyone including the Republicans.

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  • Malinda
    06/08/2017
    ···

    We should go back to paper ballots. Tired of people cheating the system.

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  • Donald
    06/07/2017
    ···

    Probably, but the guys in office are probably behind it...

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  • Kathy
    06/08/2017
    ···

    This is a no brainer, come on. To many times in Columbia SC reports of machines turning off, lines to long all the way up to 7 pm with projected winners at 7:10. I know for a fact, I was in that line, had been for 2 hours to put my vote in against Nikki Haley. I was pissed, she was projected winner @ 7:10 pm, declared at 7:15pm. I'm still in line. I know of poll workers who swear they will not ever help or volunteer again because of all the shenanigans they witnessed. We just heard of the NSA leak that specifically inquired of the Russians hacking into the system. And idiots are going after her for leaking, I thank her. She is a true Air Force, fighting for what's right in this country. Put her in jail, I want to donate to her legal fees! And anybody else that can come up with the truth. But then again, what do we do with the truth? Don't know bout y'all, but I'm feeling the enemy is the GOP, because they don't want to be man enough to do anything with the truth. The entire White House needs to be wiped out. So what we sanction Russia, big fu**ing deal. I'm sure they can't quit laughing long enough to even notice. This election was rigged! That still leaves this country with nothing, this country with an idiot liar thief confused uneducated social media narcissistic ding bat at the realm! When the big picture is looked at, come on look at it with me, they sat there for 8 years, told Obama I'm not doing one damn thing, not one. And they didn't. And the election came up, and what happened, GOP won, just to erase every single thing Obama did. But there is one, just one promise trump made, term limits. Has that SOB touch that issue, why hell no. This is not going to get fixed until the entire GOP party goes down, nonexistent. And it's going to take every single American to do it. Voting needs to be done by hand, counting under camera. Gerrymandering needs to be outlawed. This state, Republican. Why? Because people get great educations here, then leave the state. The highest electoral vote comes from an area of only 3% are college educated. They only understand the sky is falling. People need to be educated, not barked at. Votes need to be protected, not pushed out into lala land never to be counted. The GOP needs to be held accountable, and get out! I just can not understand why we are still asking questions. Something should have already been done.

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