Given the Russian interference in our elections, how will we know our elections are secure? (More)

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The simple answer is paper ballots. NPR has a story with this headline, Making U.S. elections more secure wouldn’t cost much but no one wants to pay.

What would it cost to protect the nation’s voting systems from attack? About $400 million would go a long way, say cybersecurity experts. It’s not a lot of money when it comes to national defense — the Pentagon spent more than that last year on military bands alone — but getting funds for election systems is always a struggle.

At a Senate intelligence committee hearing last week about Russian hacking during last year’s election, Jeanette Manfra , the acting deputy under secretary for cybersecurity at the Department Homeland Security recommended that election officials have a paper-based audit process to identify anomalies after an election.

I am all in favor of military bands but really, bottom line, I want safe and secure and verifiable election results.

You may remember the 2008 race for Minnesota Senate between Al Franken and Norm Coleman. Franken won by 312 votes after a long recount process of paper ballots. He was sworn in just in time to help pass the Affordable Care Patient Protection Act. The entire recount process was live streamed by the Uptake, a non-profit public service media group. I remember the tension being briefly broken by someone reading out a write in vote for Mickey Mouse or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Representatives of both parties, lawyers and candidates and state officers were present. I loved the result but I also liked knowing that the recount was clearly above board and clean.

I encourage you to do two things. One, read the entire NPR story. Two, write your elected officials and ask for funding for election security and a requirement that paper ballots be used. We need lots of voices to make this happen. Let yours be one and share this with your friends. Thanks.

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