Our coverage of "voting machines"

ExpressVote, barcode

Ignoring Warning Signs: Officials Approve Vulnerable Voting Machines

Protecting Out Vote 2020

Election officials know very well that using outdated and costly touchscreen voting machines — which are susceptible to hacking and other foul play — will likely lead to programming issues and cause long lines during the 2020 election that will ultimately drive voters away from the polls. 

Though more states are moving toward hand-marked paper ballots, most of those ballots will still be counted by machines. In other states — some of which could play a crucial role this year — election officials have ignored View article …

Diebold, voting machine, voting card

Georgia Runoff Will Likely ‘Contaminate’ Voting Machines As Evidence

This week, election officials across Georgia are going to break a rule in the election code and tamper with potential evidence as they prepare for December’s runoff and special elections, just as they have since 2002.


The rule in question mandates the maintenance of the internal memory of voting machines for one month after an election. The problem is that Georgia has an election schedule that makes that rule essentially impossible to enforce. Runoffs, like the one coming up on December 4, often happen within a month of the main election.


WhoWhatWhy investigated View article …

Coffee County, historical marker

What Donald Trump Got Right About Voting Machines

“Fair elections” was perhaps the animating factor in American politics in 2020. That summer, as we all know, Donald Trump seemingly began to prepare for a November loss by declaring ad nauseam that the only way he could lose was if the election was rigged — but the idea that the integrity of the election was at risk was first floated by Joe Biden, who predicted (accurately) as early as June that Trump would “try to steal” the election by casting View article …

Deibold, voting machines, Shelby County, TN

Touchscreen Voting Machines and the Vanishing Black Votes

Protecting Out Vote 2020


Votes from predominantly black precincts have mysteriously vanished from touchscreen voting machines in both Tennessee and Georgia in recent elections. Georgia replaced the touchscreen system it had been using since 2002 with yet another controversial touchscreen system, rejecting the advice of most election security experts, who note that hand-marked paper ballots are less vulnerable to both tampering and error. A political battle is now raging in View article …

How Easy-to-hack Voting Machines Endanger Democracy

Since the “Help America Vote Act” in 2002, tallying votes in our elections has become dependent on machines that sometimes  leave no paper trail. Manufacturers have “proprietary” programs and will not let any public officials or independent experts examine them.


On a cold winter day in 2007, Andrew Appel, a Princeton computer professor and election specialist, changed the outcome on one of these machines in seven minutes. He proved something that should alarm everyone: in effect, it took seven minutes per machine to steal an election.


In testimony to a House of Representatives Technology Committee on September 28, 2016, which is View article …


New Video Provides Proof of Cellular Modems in FL Voting Machines

In the past few days, election integrity activists got up close to the current generation of ES&S voting machines — close enough to record video of a digital scanner voting machine sending results wirelessly.

The ability of the machines to communicate with the outside world has generally not been acknowledged by either the manufacturer or election officials. Yet this wireless link is at the heart of concerns that election results could be hacked or manipulated, “including attacks that could change vote totals and election results,” said Emily Levy, director of communications at View article …

Georgia, ballot scanning device

Barcode Voting Machines: The Most Unnecessary Gap in US Election Security

Election technology experts are warning that barcode ballot marking devices (BMDs) are vulnerable to bad actors capable of committing the perfect crime: changing the information on a ballot and getting away with it without the voter even realizing it happened. 


The use of barcodes is one of these machines’ biggest downsides. 


When people vote with these BMDs, they fill out their ballot on a screen; a printer then produces a paper ballot marked with a barcode. To cast their ballot, users feed this paper into a third device that scans the barcode to record the View article …

HHS, Chad Wolf, voting machines

States Grapple With Germ-Ridden Voting Machines Amid Coronavirus

Protecting Out Vote 2020

Election officials have long dealt with faulty and vulnerable voting machines, but this year, they are also grappling with the risk of spreading a deadly virus to hundreds of thousands of individuals who will cast a ballot in person this November.

While some states are beginning to make changes before the general election, a number of others will still require voters to use voting machines made with surfaces on which researchers say the coronavirus can linger for a number of days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has View article …

Felon Voting Rights and Vulnerable Voting Machines

High school students in Illinois that are eligible to vote will be allowed a two-hour excused absence to cast a ballot during the 2020 election. (read more)

It’s a novel idea that came from high school students themselves, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed the bill last week. Efforts to expand voting rights has been a key issue for Democrats over the past few years. For example, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order just days after his inauguration to automatically restore voting rights to felons once they finish their View article …

Georgia, Voter

Activists Worry New Georgia Voting Machines Open to Cyberattack

Thirty thousand brand new voting machines have been rolled out across 159 counties in Georgia. The state has spent more than $100 million on the high-tech voting apparatus. This has been Georgia’s investment in the future of voting, after malfunctions and problems plagued the previous few elections there.

The new machines got their test run June 9, in a primary overridden with technical problems causing hours-long wait times and further cementing citizen distrust of the system — which may also be open to hacking attempts.

The founder of the nonprofit voting-rights group VoterGA, Garland Favorito, View article …

voting machines, Georgia

Exclusive: WhoWhatWhy Finds Voting Machines Unguarded

Election security experts are deeply concerned about vulnerabilities in Georgia’s election infrastructure, so you would think that the authorities would do everything in their power to ensure that hackers cannot get their hands on one of the state’s voting machines.


But you would be wrong.


WhoWhatWhy’s team on the ground discovered that several voting machines were left completely unguarded in an unlocked room at a polling place in Fulton County on the day before early voting started.


What made matters even worse, anybody walking by this public place could View article …

voting machine

Voting Machines — Unregulated, Unverifiable, Easy to Hack

In computer terms, many voting machines are antiques that have been in use for decades. A person with nefarious motives and access to these machines could change the results without anyone knowing, because there are no real safeguards in place.


At the Def Con cyber conference earlier this year, experts pronounced that seven models of voting machines — all still in use around the country — were highly vulnerable to hacking. One, the Express Poll-5000, actually comes with the root password “password” — breaking the one password rule even View article …