Bring Back the Good Old Paper Ballot

Paper Ballots Remain the Gold Standard, Cybersecurity Expert Says

Reading Time: 1 minute

If the Defense Department, the CIA, and our largest corporations can be hacked, certainly 50 states and over 3,000 separate county systems are no match for individuals or nation states that might want to influence the outcome of elections. This is particularly true because nowadays things in the world of electronics and elections are as complex as ever. Even if we are casting our ballots on the Internet, the process of touch screens, optical scanning, or any kind of tabulation without a paper trail, may leave us vulnerable.

Jonathan Katz, director of the University of Maryland Cybersecurity Center, argues in this podcast with WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman that every system is only as strong as its weakest node. He also talks about why every system, short of paper ballots, has some vulnerability and why the combination of voting, technology, and privacy are often competing forces.

For more on WhoWhatWhy‘s recent coverage of this and related issues, see here and here.

Related front page panorama photo credit: Pointing Fingers (Adam Tuttle / Flickr), System Lock (Yuri Samoilov / Flickr)

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