Once about as newsworthy as water meters, the voting machines and computers used to record and tally the nation's ballots are suddenly a hot button issue due to mounting evidence Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.
According to the FBI, as many as 39 states had their election systems scanned or targeted by Russia. There's no evidence of votes changed. But given the stakes, some state agencies that run elections are trying to curb any further interference prior to mid-term elections in November.
Their tool of choice: Ensuring systems can't be hacked, and if they are, making those breaches immediately obvious. To do this, some are taking the unusual move of rewinding the technological dial, debating measures that would add paper ballots — similar to how many Americans voted before electronic voting started to become widespread in the 1980s.
A week ago Virginia announced it would no longer use touch-screen-only voting machines after a hack-a-thon in Las Vegas showed how easily they could be breached.
States with electronic-only voting machines want to add a paper back-up that would mandate, for every electronic ballot cast, creation of a paper version that could be counted, and presumably, not easily altered.