Election Security and Voting Rights

October 12, 2018 • Volume 28, Issue 36
Is the ballot box safe from manipulation?
By Tom Price


A woman prepares to vote in Hoboken, N.J. (Cover: AFP/Getty Images/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
A woman prepares to vote in Hoboken, N.J. Two years after Russian operatives meddled in the 2016 presidential election, experts say many state voting systems remain vulnerable to outside interference. (Cover: AFP/Getty Images/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

In the wake of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, experts warn that many states continue to rely on outdated voting machines and online networks that are highly vulnerable to hacking. Those warnings coincide with fresh evidence that Russia is working to sow discord and confusion among U.S. voters ahead of the high-stakes November midterms. Congress approved $380 million this year to help states upgrade and protect their election systems, but state officials say far more is needed. Many experts say wider use of paper ballots would help prevent election mistakes and tampering, but others say paper records are still susceptible to human error. Some Republican-controlled states, meanwhile, have adopted photo ID requirements and other rules that they say protect election integrity by reducing voter fraud. But voting-rights advocates argue that such fraud is extremely rare and that the rules are designed to suppress voting among minorities and other groups that typically support Democrats.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Sep. 30, 2022  Latino Voters
Oct. 12, 2018  Election Security and Voting Rights
Nov. 04, 2016  The Obama Legacy
Oct. 29, 2010  Democrats' Future
Apr. 24, 2009  Judicial Elections
May 30, 2008  Changing U.S. Electorate Updated
Mar. 12, 2004  Redistricting Disputes
Nov. 02, 2001  Election Reform
Oct. 20, 2000  Low Voter Turnout
Campaigns and Elections
Campaigns and Elections
Congress Actions
Crime and Law Enforcement
Internet and Social Media
Party Politics
Party Politics
Powers and History of the Presidency
Regional Political Affairs: Russia and the Former Soviet Union
State, Local, and Intergovernmental Relations
Supreme Court History and Decisions