Op-Ed: We Should be concerned about Electronic Voting Machines


by Steve Levy

How many times have we heard it: If you ask questions about the integrity of the electoral process in 2020, you are somehow participating in the "Big Lie."

At the same time, the media will publish stories about fears officials have about the integrity of the electronic voting machines, and the potential for them be hacked. The media can’t have it both ways.

Just because there hasn’t been a prime example of hacking that has tilted an election thus far, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. There wasn’t a hacking of Suffolk County’s computers…until there was this month.

If the owner of a bank leaves the bank’s vault and front door open every night after the employees leave, does that mean we should continue with this reckless policy, even though no one has stolen the loot yet?

It’s just a matter of time before you get fleeced. That’s why it’s so important that we be extra vigilant about these electronic machines. Many officials objected to the transfer over to electronic machines after the 2000 butterfly ballot debacle in Broward County, Florida.

But in that case, Congress was prescribing chemotherapy to deal with a simple cold. There was no need to go so extravagant in getting rid of our tried-and-true lever machines and paper ballots that worked just fine for centuries without fraud.

When you inject electronic machines into the equation, you are playing with fire. Someone has to create the software. Can it be tampered with? Of course, it can. Simply because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it can’t be in the future.

Could there be innocent mix-ups? Of course, there can.

We never thought we would see the day when we would be calling upon American officials to emulate Europe. But in the case of elections, they have it right and we’re getting it more wrong by the day.

Almost all of our fellow western democracies in Europe require voter ID, reject mail-in voting, and stick to old fashion paper ballots. They get their results on election day itself, not two months after, as is often the case here. No one is questioning the integrity of their elections. Why can’t we go back to that simple process?

We are a very divided nation. After an election, we must be able to say that it was fair, and if our side loses, we accept it and will win the next time.

Instead, we had Democrats challenging the 2016 election and Republicans challenging the 2020 election. Our elections are too important not to get the process right.