A report from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York School University of Law concludes that software attacks could threaten the integrity of a state or national election. One of the experts asked for input on voting was Woodbury County Auditor Patrick Gill — even though he says his precincts don’t use D-R-E, the computer-screen Direct Recording Equipment. His voters write their choices on paper ballots, so Gill’s part of the discussion was on the optical scanners that read those paper ballots. He says they’re still machines that tabulate votes and post votes, so in many ways he also works with computerized voting. They talked about primarily security issues, like the staffing needed in an auditor’s office. They even talked about the size of elections compared with how many people would have to be involved in a conspiracy to alter vote counts. Bill says the larger the jurisdiction, like a presidential vote instead of a local one, the number of people in any conspiracy would grow “exponentially.” After the study Gill says he feels very good about the way things are done here in Iowa. He says our systems are very secure. “Like a lot of things, it comes down to the trust you put in your local elected official.” Gill says he doesn’t have anything in particular against DRE’s, the electronic voting machines. The reason he’s gone with a “paper trail” of ballots in Woodbury County is to avoid the voters having any opportunity to question the integrity of the elections. The Brennan Center Task Force concluded in general that the machines from all three major vendors of voting systems are vulnerable to attack.
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