(INDIANAPOLIS) — The Indiana Election Commission has approved the first voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) for electronic voting systems. This is a security measure that allows voters to independently verify their vote was correctly recorded.
In Indiana, almost half of the counties use direct record electronic machines. There is a paper trail in the back of the machines, but it is not visible to the voter. As a security measure, paper trails that are visible to the voter are being added to electronic voting equipment.
The General Assembly provided funding to equip 10 percent of electronic voting equipment with a VVPAT. Voters will start seeing the equipment at the polls this fall. By 2029, all voting equipment in the state will be required to have a voter-verifiable paper trail.
“Adding VVPATs to election equipment will help boost voter confidence and allow us to implement risk-limiting audits,” said Secretary of State Connie Lawson. “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.”
All election equipment used in Indiana goes through an extensive review and testing process prior to use. 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.