Senator wants $160M to buy auditable voting machines

Senator wants $160M to buy auditable voting machines
© Getty Images

Sen. Angus KingAngus KingBitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Ocasio-Cortez: Republicans don't believe Democrats 'have the stones to play hardball' Democrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation MORE (I-Maine) sent a letter to Senate Appropriations leadership Tuesday calling for $160 million to supply states with voting machines that provide a paper record. 

"Rational analysis concludes that our voting equipment will certainly be subject to sophisticated cyberattacks that are likely to change election outcomes without detection," King wrote in his letter to Sens. John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanRomney calls first Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' COVID-19 relief talks look dead until September  Senate GOP hedges on attending Trump's convention amid coronavirus uptick MORE (R-Ark.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterBitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Green groups seek overturn of Colorado land plans after court decision ousting Pendley Democratic Senate emerges as possible hurdle for progressives  MORE (D-Mont.). 

Many of the digital voting machines that were purchased to help disabled and hard-of-sight voters do not provide a paper record of votes. That makes it harder to audit vote tallies if hacking or other tampering is suspected. Paper records cannot be altered by malware. 


There is no evidence that voting machines were hacked in the 2016 presidential election. And since election machines are purchased locally and are vastly different from locality to locality, hacking a national election without being detected would be a daunting task. Hacking state and local elections, however, would be more realistic.

"A simple and effective solution to the cybersecurity vulnerability of our voting systems is available immediately: audit the results of elections instead of trying to secure computer systems," King wrote in his letter.