With the elections coming up, the time has come to look at a serious problem – voter fraud – and what we can do about it. The problem is more significant this election given the concerns about voter fraud and foreign influence in the 2016 election. Here are five simple ways to prevent voter fraud in 2020, according to actual security experts.
Use Paper Ballots to Create a Backup of Votes
Even if electronic equipment in the voting booth isn’t directly connected to the internet, it’s always challenging to protect computer systems against cyber threats. If states insist on using voting machines, they should use voting machines that print out a paper record of the vote. Five American states – South Carolina, Georgia, Delaware, New Jersey, and Louisiana – keep no paper trail of votes. That’s just dangerous.
Prevent Internet Voting – For Now
Several states have started allowing voters to vote through the internet. It’s the next stage of postal voting, and it will enable armed forces members and American emigrants to cast their vote. The problem is that internet voting is too risky right now. Online voting should be called off until strong security protocols can be implemented.
Verify the Election Results
There’s a real lack of public faith in the election process, and it’s not hard to understand why. States should offer public, transparent audits of elections to guarantee their integrity. This includes auditing voting processes such as ballot preparation, voter registration, and voting reporting. There’s generally very little scrutiny over these processes. States should scrub the data of private information and then make it available to the public so they know what is happening and understand the election was as legitimate as possible. Taking such a close look at the process will also help to identify incidents of voter fraud.
Crosscheck Voter Registrations to Remove Duplicates
There needs to be a way for states to compare their registration databases with other states to eliminate duplicate voters. These are a prime target for voter fraud. Crosschecking duplicate votes reduces the potential for one voter to vote in two locations without anyone realizing. Double voting is quite rare, but it is possible. There’s also the added benefit that it clears up bloated ballots and makes things easier on election officials in general.
Improve the Security of Voting by Mail
Voting by mail has become the standard in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. It’s becoming more popular in other states as well. The problem is that absentee ballots and mail ballots are more at risk of forgery and theft, not to mention other kinds of frauds. It would be easier to buy or coerce someone into voting a particular way through the mail than it would be at a physical voting booth. New technologies must be developed to counter voter fraud through mail voting.
Voter fraud is a serious problem and the government needs to address it in time for the election. States must secure paper voting, create more paper trails, eliminate duplicate voter registrations, and take proactive steps towards preventing voter fraud.