Jennifer Cohn @jennycohn1 Election security advocate & writer; attorney; Contributor @WhoWhatWhy, @NYRDaily #HandMarkedPaperBallots #ProtectOurVotes May. 08, 2019 2 min read

Secure Election Checklist!
1. #HandMarkedPaperBallots
2. #TransparentChainofCustody
3. #HandAudits or #HandCounts (all races)
4. #NoModemsOrRemoteAccess
5. #PaperVoterRolls (at the polls)
6. #PostedPrecinctTotalsAndPollTapes
7. #PublishedReportedResults (by category) 1/

2/ Notes:

Item 1: it is critical to specify HAND marked bc machine-marked (often barcpded) paper ballots are hackable. The only exception should be for people who are unable to hand mark their ballots.

3/ Item 2: It is critical to maintain a transparent chain of custody as to both the paper ballots and the election equipment Iif any). This requires publication of chain of custody records & (perhaps) video surveillance.

4/ Item 3: Hand audits are meaningless unless they are robust and conducted in public. The most known example of a robust manual audit is a Risk Limiting Audit. If jurisdictions refuse to do this for every race, then they should prepare to hand count the ballots instead.

5/ Item 4: Vendors have installed cellular modems in scanners and remote access software in election management systems, including the county-based central tabulators used to aggregate all precinct tallies. This must be REMOVED before 2020 & no more installed.

6/ Item 5: Russia reportedly had the ability to delete voters from the voter rolls in one or more counties. And electronic poll books (used at the polls to confirm voter registration) have had massive problems. We need paper backups of the voter rolls at each polling place.

7/ Items 6 and 7: Russia reportedly attacked Ukraine's election reporting system in 2014, and the broad language in Mueller's report suggests it may have done the same in at least one county in 2016. See Thread below.

8/ It is therefore critical that the public have the ability to reconcile precinct results with reported totals. This requires posting of precinct totals outside the precincts, posting of poll tapes outside the precincts (records from the precinct machines themselves), & ...

9/ publication of the reported totals broken down by category (early voting vs. vote by mail vs. election day).

10/ As discussed in the thread linkek in post 7, at least one Florida county did not provide this breakdown in 2018, making it impossible to reconcile the totals that left the precincts with the totals reported later in the night. This is unacceptable.

11/ I'm thinking that there should be a penalty for counties that fail to satisfy one or more items on the cheklist.

12/ One option could be a large monetary penalty. Another could be that failure to satisfy these elements confers standing on the public to file an election challenge with fees and costs paid by the county, regardless of the outcome of the challenge. Thoughts?

13/ Elections, after all, are funded by the taxpayers. There must be some accountability for election officials who fail to do a competent job.

14/ And yes, Congress has the power to do this. It's a MYTH that they don't.

You can follow @jennycohn1.


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