Local elections in northwest Indiana as well as the rest of the state are coming up and my question to you is not who you will be voting for this term, but what will you be voting on? Paper or screen?

With everything moving to online correspondence, why does it seem like the voting system is not? If anything, it is moving in the opposite direction. Some states are no longer allowing absentee balloting or making more stringent requirements for absentee balloting. 

But that is not to say balloting technology hasn’t advanced at all. It is quite the contrary. The balloting machines that you will see in the upcoming elections will have some very advanced features. The hope for these new balloting technologies is that a more secure and efficient system can be found for counting votes for elections. But as with anything associated with politics, these advanced technologies have brought their fair share of controversies.

Some districts have moved to all digital balloting or Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) systems. But with the possibility of vote tampering being such a high concern, some districts still stick to the old paper ballots. Others will use Direct Recording Electronic voting systems that use a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). Those using completely the digital systems with no paper trails have drawn criticism from watchdog groups who fear that the all digital systems are impossible to verify. If an internal error occurs in the all digital machines, it is almost impossible to catch and correct the problem until it is too late.

As with almost every technology, treading carefully is the best way to keep from compromising security. Security and accountability have always been at the forefront of balloting and the journey into new voting systems will magnify both.


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