Not enough voters detecting ballot errors and potential hacks, study finds

Not enough voters detecting ballot errors and potential hacks, study finds – The Michigan Engineer News Center

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Not enough voters detecting ballot errors and potential hacks, study finds

EECS: Computer Science and EngineeringJanuary 8, 2020Researchers carried out the first study on voter behavior with electronic assistive devices, found 93% missed incorrect ballots.| Short ReadEnlargeIMAGE:  

New research published this week by a team at the University of Michigan indicates that voters don’t pay enough attention to the election security safeguards at their disposal. The study, led by Ph.D. student Matt Bernhard and Prof. J. Alex Halderman, found that voters missed over 93% of errors on printed ballots that they filled out using electronic ballot marking devices.

In an attempt to adapt the convenience and accessibility of electronic voting machines to more secure and reliable paper ballots, ballot marking devices (BMDs) have voters use a simple touchscreen interface to make their selections. Once they are finished recording votes, the machine prints off their ballot with their choices filled in for them to take to the ballot box.

It’s here that voters take responsibility for a crucial verification step – checking that their printed ballot matches their actual choices.

“In theory, voters are supposed to check the printout and make sure it’s right,” Halderman says, “but until now nobody’s ever test whether voters really do spot errors.”

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