Tomorrow, Wednesday 8/22/18 , the Senate Rules Committee will deliberate on the Secure Elections Act [S. 2261]. It certainly will provide a more secure infrastructure against cybersecurity threats than our current state, but it is missing two of the most important and effective ways to secure elections; paper records to detect and quickly correct for cyberattacks and automatic risk limiting audits to ensure that such detection actually happens. Otherwise this bill is like going on a picnic with buns, condiments, and napkins, and then realizing you left the burgers at home.
Action – Call your committee members and ask them to amend the bill!
Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator [___] to demand that the Committee amend S. 2261 – “Secure Elections Act” to require states to give voters the option to mark their ballots by HAND, or provide a voter-verifiable paper trail and to conduct “Risk Limiting Audits”.
(Check here to see if your senator is on the committee. Dianne Feinstein is a member.)
(from the awesome Electronic Frontier Foundation)
“Paper Records: Many states still use unsafe voting machines that record votes in only one place: overwritable storage devices like a thumb drive or SD card. Our top priority for election security needs to be funding replacements for these machines. Those replacements must provide a paper trail of each and every vote. The most straightforward and efficient way to do so is voter-marked paper ballots combined with optical scanning machines.
Risk Limiting Audits: Besides building a paper trail for each and every vote cast, actually checking that paper trail must become an automatic part of every election. This is made practical by the most important innovation in election security in recent years: risk limiting audits. Done properly, risk limiting audits allow us to achieve high confidence that an election result is correct through the audit of a small, well-chosen sample of ballots. This makes audits cheaper and quicker, allowing them to be part of every election. Regularizing these audits will increase voter confidence in our democratic system.”
Three states already require these measures; the other forty-seven should follow suit as quickly as possible. And no federal bill should be without them.” (the states are CO, RI, VA)