Indiana voters to see paper trails for electronic voting equipment this fall

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Hoosiers will begin to see a new security measure in the voting booth this fall.

The Indiana Election Commission has approved the first voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) for electronic voting systems, according to Secretary of State Connie Lawson.

Currently in Indiana, around half of the counties use direct record electronic machines. A paper trail exists in the back of these machines, but it is not visible to the voter.

Visible paper trails are being added to electronic voting equipment as an additional security measure, allowing voters to independently verify their vote was correctly recorded, Lawson said.

With the new funding provided by the General Assembly, 10 percent of Indiana’s electronic voting equipment is slated to be equipped with a VVPAT.

According to Lawson, voters should start seeing the equipment at the polls by election time this fall, and by 2029, all voting equipment in the state will be required to have a VVPAT.

“Adding VVPATs to election equipment will help boost voter confidence and allow us to implement risk limiting audits,” Lawson explained, “Together, these practices will show voters at the polls their vote is safe and secure and following up with a post-election audit will confirm their vote was counted. As we prepare for the upcoming presidential election, we will be working to protect 2020 and beyond.”

The statement from the Secretary of State’s office also lists the extensive review and testing process of Indiana election equipment:

  • First the equipment must be approved by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to meet federal requirements
  • Next, the Voting System Technical Oversight Program (VSTOP) at Ball State University reviews and test the equipment to ensure it meets Indiana standards
  • Once a piece of equipment has the EAC and VSTOP stamp of approval, it goes to the Indiana Election Commission for approval
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