Manufacturers of touch-screen voting machines, also known as direct-recording electronic (DRE) machines, like to say that their machines are more secure and more convenient than their paper-based competitors but computer experts know better. They know for example, that computers are highly vulnerable to viruses and malware.
According to computer experts, touch-screen machines can be programmed to change votes and are nearly impossible to audit, reports HuffPost.
In fact, in 2006, Princeton computer science professor Edward Felten obtained an AccuVote TS machine and then he and his team spent that summer in the basement of a building trying to reverse-engineer the machine.
“In September 2006, they published a research paper and an accompanying video detailing how they could spread malicious code to the AccuVote TS to change the record of the votes to produce whatever outcome the code writers desired. And the code could spread from one machine to another like a virus,” says Schulberg.
The state of Georgia still uses the AccuVote TS, and is one of five states ― including Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina ― that rely entirely on DREs for voting. Other states use a combination of paper ballots and DRE machines, which leave no paper trail.
A decade ago, computer scientists were saying that a foreign government might one day try to hack US election equipment. In 2016, we saw that theory turned into practice.