VOTE 20

How Secure Is Your Vote?

Midterm elections are underway, and they will determine who controls Congress come November. Most voters go to the polls focused on the issues they care about, not the equipment they’re voting on. But the machine that casts your vote could determine whether your vote is counted correctly in the midterm elections.

Voting machines around the country are reaching the end of their lifespan; and they’re not only old — they also pose a potential security risk. Many have been hacked by security experts. In this piece, Now This correspondent Lulu Friesdat goes into Ohio polling places to demonstrate how easy it would be to hack some of the voting equipment currently in use. What we found may stun you.

Election security experts recommend that voters who are able to, use hand-marked paper ballots, and that the results of the election be checked with robust, statistically meaningful post-election audits. Most of the voters that we interviewed echoed that desire, saying they would prefer to use a paper ballot that they mark themselves.

Since our piece ran, Ohio has passed legislation to fund new voting equipment, however the funding does not come with any security requirements, and does not mandate that voters be offered the option of a hand-marked paper ballot. With so much at stake for the midterm elections, it’s more important than ever that votes are tallied securely and accurately.