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Dutchess_III's avatar

Are paper ballots hack proof?

Asked by Dutchess_III (44678points) July 28th, 2018
12 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

That’s what this article from USAToday says. I was actually wondering about that before it showed up on my feed.

What do you think?

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ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

In my opinion they are just as likely to be tampered with.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But how? Electronic ballots can be hacked from thousands and thousands of miles away. You’d have to be right there to mess with the paper ballots.

seawulf575's avatar

I’m happier with paper ballots, but in the end, cheating can occur. remember the hanging chads and the other garbage going on? People caught with blank ballots and voting machines in their trunk, people eating piles of chads that were being counted, ballots being “lost” until well after the election…all efforts to cheat an election.

Zaku's avatar

Electronic ballots are vastly easier to hack than paper ones, and hacking of them is much harder to detect or verify, particularly by non-electronics/computer experts, so the way you detect or catch electronic hacking is generally much more easy to corrupt/subvert than how you verify paper ballots.

Basically, if your ballots are all electronic, you’d better really really trust everyone involved in implementing and verifying the voting. If there are groups with profit and power on their minds interested in the outcomes, and they have billions of dollars they’d be happy to invest in getting a certain outcome, it’s much more likely they can make that happen to an electronic system than to a paper system where there are many ordinary people involved in the process.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Dutchess_III Never heard of stuffing the ballot box?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, I’ve heard of it. But someone would have to physically be there to do it and I don’t know how they could get away with it.

seawulf575's avatar

@Dutchess_III it usually is the person emptying the ballot box or at the ballot tally station. They bring 100 or more extra ballots for one candidate and throw them into the mix. Kinda hard to differentiate at that point.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have no idea how they would do that, or if they have checkers and spotters, cameras. Secure like a bank. I mean, you have to put your name on them, don’t you? You don’t just write the name of the candidate on a piece of paper and shove it in a box.

seawulf575's avatar

Actually, you don’t put your name on them. You log in at the polling station, they are supposed to check your name off the list, and then they had you a blank ballot. You fill in the spots. Remember the hanging chads? They had no way of going back to the people who may have dimpled or not fully cut the chads…there were no names on them. Think about it…when you vote electronically, you don’t enter your name anywhere. You log in, and you vote. So with paper ballots, If I throw an extra thousand votes into the final box, they get counted. You can’t negate them without negating everyone’s votes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think I’ve ever had any experience with them.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It’s easier to stuff a ballot box than it is to hack an electronic voting machine. Anyone with access can stuff a ballot box but it takes some technical sauce to hack an electronic voting machine. They’re not on the “internet” like many believe. They’re VLANed or straight up islanded and the embedded software is a “trade secret.” It’s naive to think both are not happening though.

Caravanfan's avatar

And they can be vague. Remember the “hanging chad”?

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