Md. di­min­ishes the value of pa­per bal­lots

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Mary H. Ki­raly, Bethesda The writer is a founder of the Mary­land Elec­tion In­tegrity Coali­tion and a for­mer mem­ber of the Mont­gomery County Board of Elec­tions.

I am grate­ful to Philip B. Stark and Poorvi L. Vora for alert­ing Mary­land vot­ers to the in­for­ma­tion that the State Board of Elec­tions will be us­ing im­ages of bal­lots, rather than our cast bal­lots, to au­dit the Gen­eral Elec­tion. (“Mary­land vot­ing au­dit falls short,” Oct. 28.)

Those of us who worked for over a decade to se­cure a pa­per bal­lot in Mary­land ar­gued that an op­ti­cal scan vot­ing sys­tem would pro­vide a voter-ver­i­fied pa­per record of our votes that would be avail­able for au­dits and re­counts. We cel­e­brate the fact that we fi­nally have that sys­tem this year.

Now we learn that the SBE will turn to an­other “black box” soft­ware sys­tem to au­dit not our bal­lots but im­ages of the bal­lots. More­over, the au­dit will not be ob­served by the pub­lic and may well oc­cur in the of­fices of the soft­ware com­pany, Clear Bal­lot Group, Inc., head­quar­tered in Bos­ton. Will the SBE fur­ther di­min­ish the hard-won se­cu­rity value of pa­per bal­lots by pro­vid­ing those im­ages to Clear Bal­lot over the In­ter­net? This is not the way to ver­ify an elec­tion out­come.

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