Since the recount first raised the call for elections we can trust, we have been fighting to safeguard our elections from multiple sources of interference. That includes everything from voter suppression schemes to the stranglehold of big money, biased election coverage, exclusionary debates and more.
Safeguarding our elections also requires protecting our computerized voting system from the threat of hacking – whether from foreign or domestic actors.
Now the media is finally picking up on this critical story. The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism covered our ongoing fight to check the voting machines in a recent article about the vulnerability of Wisconsin’s election systems, which made national newspapers!
The article mentions several ways the recount has galvanized the movement for election protection and voting justice.
For example, a University of Wisconsin study of recount results estimated that at least 1 in 117 votes was miscounted – an unacceptably high error rate that could easily swing the outcome of a close election.
In some communities, the error rates were much higher, like the town of Hazelhurst where over half the voters nearly had their votes deleted by a poll worker’s error.
In a country where recounts, audits or any kind of checks on election results are rare, this information is valuable for election integrity advocates, who are already using lessons learned from the recount to push for critically needed reforms.
One such victory happened in September 2017, when the Wisconsin Election Commission decertified an entire line of voting machines for the first time ever after they were observed miscounting votes during the recount in Racine County.
The problems brought into the spotlight during the recount are even getting attention from Congress, which allocated $380 million earlier this year to improve the security of election systems across the country. A representative from Wisconsin has also introduced a bill that would require paper ballots and routine post-election audits across the country.
Meanwhile, we are continuing the fight to determine the security of voting machines and software.
Our legal team in Wisconsin is making steady progress toward a groundbreaking state-wide examination of the voting machine “source code” – a crucial piece of voting machine software that controls the actual counting and tallying of the votes.
The biggest remaining obstacle in our way is the voting machine corporations’ attempts to gag us from sharing our findings from the public, even if we find evidence of error or intentional interference.
The voting machine corporations are making the outrageous claim that their trade secrets are more important than the integrity of American democracy. We are challenging them in court to ensure that we can share the information we learn with the public.
With the 2018 elections approaching, it’s more urgent than ever that we continue to demand elections we can trust, that are accurate, secure and just.
Thank you for being part of this critical movement for election protection and voting justice.