- Voting News
The COVID-19 epidemic has impacted many aspects of American democracy. Primaries have been rescheduled, processes for absentee ballots changed, and polling sites relocated, often with less than 24 hours’ notice. Throughout it all, election officials have been and will continue to be essential workers on the front line of protecting our democracy amidst this pandemic. People have risked their lives to ensure that others can cast their ballots. Given Verified Voting’s mission, these recommendations center on election security and verification, but they can only be implemented if election officials are safe and supported.
COVID-19 and Trustworthy Elections
Election security and verification must remain a priority as election officials and policymakers around the country respond to the COVID-19 epidemic. Even with changes in procedures, the measure of a successful election is public confidence that the election was conducted fairly. Hostile nation-states and others will strive to raise doubts: Were some voters denied a chance to vote? Were some votes cast illegally? Were some votes cast inaccurately? Were some ballots added, removed, or altered? Were the ballots miscounted? How do we know?
Providing reassuring answers after the election requires careful planning before the election by many stakeholders. Election officials will need time, resources, technical assistance, and support to do the work needed to secure the election.
Verified Voting’s mission is safeguarding elections in the digital age. As a non-partisan organization working for accuracy, integrity and verifiability of elections, we work to ensure that the voice of those who understand technology are at the table when decisions about the use of technology in elections are being made. Verified Voting consists of two entities: VerifiedVoting.org and the Verified Voting Foundation. Click below to learn more.
In July 2012, the Verified Voting Foundation, Common Cause and the Rutgers University Law School released Counting Votes 2012: A State by State Look at Election Preparedness that reviews how prepared each state is to ensure that every eligible voter can vote, and that every vote is counted as cast. Does your State require paper ballots or records of every state? Does your State have contingency plans in the event of machine failure? Does your State protect military and overseas voters by ensuring that marked ballots are not cast online? Has your State instituted a post-election audit? Does your State use robust ballot reconciliation and tabulation practices? See how your State ranks.
There is widespread pressure around the country today for the introduction of some form of Internet voting in public elections that would allow people to vote online, all electronically, from their own personal computers or mobile devices. Proponents argue that Internet voting would offer greater speed and convenience, particularly for overseas and military voters and, in fact, any voters allowed to vote that way. However, computer and network security experts are virtually unanimous in pointing out that online voting is an exceedingly dangerous threat to the integrity of U.S. elections. There is no way to guarantee that the security, privacy, and transparency requirements for elections can all be met with any practical technology in the foreseeable future. Find out more at our Internet Voting Resource Page.