- As the 2020 election cycle progresses, more and more places in the U.S. will switch to using paper votes.
- Experts say paper voting systems are the safest way to vote because they are less prone to hacking and manipulation.
- In Ohio, 12 counties have launched a new voting machine company that focuses their innovation on paper and challenged a market traditionally dominated by three old suppliers.
- But officials say that when it comes to protecting our elections, security is ultimately more important than reality.
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Election officials across the country are being scrutinized more than ever as concerns about the interference of Russian elections increase.
As the president's peak season begins, some districts in Ohio are switching from digital voting systems to paper votes that are protected from hacking or digital manipulation.
Local officials trust a new voting technology company – Delete voting group – Because the confidence of the Americans in their elections is balanced.
We spoke to people on the electoral front to find out how the old-fashioned paper vote system can ensure that every vote is counted.
How paper can restore confidence in elections
Elementary school in Ohio is March 17th, and the state has been preparing for spending for years almost $ 115 million To replace voting machines that were often over a decade old.
A dozen counties in the state have chosen to buy machines from a new voting system company called Clear Ballot Group. The 11-year-old company, whose voting system was certified by the federal government in 2018, has implemented paper-based voting systems in countries in the USA.
"We have focused all of our innovations on paper voting," James Rundlett, national sales manager for Clear Ballot, told Business Insider Weekly. "It's the most testable and transparent way to make an election. You always have the tangible physical record of the vote."
In the Clear Ballot system, voters fill out paper votes by hand and then guide them through a scanner. The pictures of each ballot are then saved in the internal memory of the machine and on USB sticks. Upon completion of the surveys, the files provide instant results and a paper trail. Physical ballots are saved in the event of a recount.
"We were looking for something that could grow with us. Something that … had more visions than history," said Jeff Monroe, election chairman in Warren County, Ohio, one of the jurisdictions in Clear's system during this election cycle Ballot surrounded.
Earlier this year, the county used voting machines made by a company called Election Systems and Software – one of three legacy companies that, along with Dominion Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic, dominate the $ 300 million voting systems industry.
Although a paper path is required for all voting systems in Ohio, Warren County officials wanted to partially upgrade their old hardware to address voters' concerns about a compromised election.
"I don't have the same iPhone as 2010. I don't have the same laptop as 2010," Clear Ballot board member Jordan Esten told Business Insider Weekly. "Why am I doing this with my voting platform, my voting systems?"
Americans are concerned about the integrity of the elections
The election cycle has already got off to a rocky start, and in early February, Iowa's democratic caucus was hit by several technical problems.
Delayed results and inconsistencies in the number of votes shook voters' confidence in the system.
As the 2020 election cycle continues, the pressure on other countries to get it right increases.
"You can't get it wrong. You can't. It has to be perfect," Monroe said.
The stake could not be higher for election officials. Only a third of Americans said they did this high confidence in an exact number of votesAccording to a survey by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
US intelligence agencies have determined this Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through social media campaigns and hacking into the Democratic Party's computer networks. They also reported about it Russia was looking for vulnerabilities in the electoral systems of all 50 states, although there was no evidence, no votes changed.
For those involved in running elections, it doesn't matter that Russia's campaign attempts have been unsuccessful.
"Perception is more important than reality in elections, and if it is perceived that an election was not fair, was not counted correctly, or was hacked, it does not matter whether it is true," said Keir Holeman, vice president of technical services Clear Ballot said Business Insider Weekly.
Other locations in the US are switching to paper
Warren County is far from the only place in America to update its voting systems before the 2020 election. Some jurisdictions switch to paper votes for the first time after long periods of use of digital election terminals.
In 2018, 14 states in certain jurisdictions still relied on paperless voting systems. according to Politico,
The store found that 45 of the nearly 600 paperless districts have already switched to paper voices and 166 others have either replaced their paperless machines or have plans to make the change.
Still, 193 jurisdictions have no plans to go paperless.
It was not a risk that some wanted to take in Ohio.
"My goal is for people who go to bed on election night to know intuitively that their vote has been counted and that their voice has been heard," Ohio State Secretary Frank LaRose told Business Insider Weekly.
"It's a constant job. If we are prepared for 2020, we can prepare for the future."