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Index 07

Equipment, Security, and Auditing

Storming State Capitols
March 2022

Overview:

Over the past four years, over $1.1 billion in federal funding was appropriated to assist state and local governments for protecting voter information and enhancing security options. As a result, federal and state officials described the 2020 election as “the most secure in American history.” Voters expect their votes to be counted properly, with established safeguards in place leading to a clear and certified result. The assessment of ballot integrity includes three key components: equipment, security, and auditing.

Components reviewed for this index include the use of voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT), e-pollbooks, Voting Systems Test Laboratory (VSTL) standards, security best practices, protection of voter information from hackers, and the conduct of official nonpartisan post-election audits.

Observations:

Contrary to the drumbeat of false information about alleged hackers switching votes to impact the election, the 2020 election was not stolen. Thanks to increased levels of federal funding for new equipment as well as state election officials coordinating with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. National Institutes of Standards and Technology, reports confirm that the 2020 Election was safe and secure. If the country wants greater security for future elections three things will help:

  • Continued federal funding for new equipment and security measures.
  • Robust post-election auditing by trained public employees.
  • Voting options outside of election day.
Overall findings:

For this index, 13 states received a low confidence rating, 14 received a medium confidence rating, and 23 states and the District of Columbia received a high confidence rating. These findings suggest that most voters can have medium to high confidence in their ballot integrity, with one important caveat: many of the security improvements adopted by states were funded by congressional appropriation, and further funding may be needed in the future.

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