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Our Electronic Voting Systems Are Still Pretty Hackable

Mark Goebel
Creative Commons

Despite Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and attempts by hackers to infiltrate voter-registration databases in Illinois, Arizona and several other states in the summer of 2016, little has been done to better secure America's network of electronic voting systems.

Voting rights groups and individual voters filed a lawsuit against Georgia election officials in 2017, to get them to require paper ballots in the 2018 midterm elections. They believe Georgia's electronic machines are vulnerable to hacking and back-up paper ballots are a good way to verify electronic results. 

The judge ruled against them to avoid last-minute confusion at the polls but expressed her own concerns that Georgia's machines are vulnerable.

A combination of money and politics contributes to America's voting machine issues. Our roughly 350,000 machines are manufactured by three companies who maintain private control over the machines and will go to court to defend their right to privacy. They have close political ties to legislators and lobbyists promote their interests. There is no transparency or accountability - even when problems occur. In addition, individual states often lack  IT expertise and the political will to prioritze funding for election security. 

The bottom line: our systems are still hackable


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Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.

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