The Iowa caucus isn’t the first time that election technology failed spectacularly. As the New York Times reported, a November 2019 election in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, made history by being so lopsided that nobody believed the results. The actual winner (after a count of the paper ballots) was initially credited with just 164 out of 55,000-odd votes in the electronic tally. It’s still unclear whether the cause was a defect in voting hardware or software, or the result of a hack.
In Part 1 of this series, we looked at common vulnerabilities of voting machines, scanners, and the overall voting system. In Part 2, we examine five concrete measures to make our election technology a harder target.
Measure 1: Use single-purpose systems. Less complexity means better security. Voting machines should be purpose-built, capable of filling out ballots, but nothing else.