UPDATED 6:51 AM PT — Friday, November 22, 2019
A leg of the Department of Homeland Security recently announced its soon to be partnership with election officials and non-profit VotingWorks that would audit votes in 2020. Ballot box officers say the purpose is to prevent possible hacks and watch for faulty voting machines.
Battleground states, such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, have already embraced a voter monitoring tool known as Arlo. Four other states have reportedly adopted the tool as well. The VotingWorks sponsored tool is free for state and local election leaders, and would double-check all votes cast.
Arlo is a web-based app that uses a security method called “risk-limiting audit.” During this process, a small percentage of the paper ballots are taken at random to check if they match what the machines recorded. Although the method is simple, many places don’t use them reportedly because many states use direct electronic voting machines, which eradicates all paper trails.
States such as Rhode Island have already jumped the gun on the issue, and implemented its own “risk-limiting audit” a couple months ago. Election officials in the state say the switch is already paying off.
“It’s a very exciting moment, it’s a historic moment in the administration of elections in Rhode Island,” said State Secretary Nellie Gorbea. “We have a community based approach here to making sure our elections are fair, fast, and accurate.”
The director of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity branch, Christopher Krebs, said he and his team will continue searching for ways to support state and local elections as 2020 comes closer.