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Hacked or Not, Audit This Election (And All Future Ones)

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Jim Evans
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After an election marred by hacker intrusions that breached the Democratic National Committee and the email account of one of Hillary Clinton s top staffers, Americans are all too ready to believe that their actual votes have been hacked, too.

But a statistical audit of electronic voting results in key states as a routine safeguard—not just an emergency measure—would be a surprisingly simple way to ease serious, lingering doubts about America s much-maligned electoral security.

It ought to be a routine thing as much as a doctor washing his hands.

On Wednesday, University of Michigan computer security researcher Alex Halderman published a blog post arguing that Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania should perform recounts due to risks that the election was hacked.

The article followed a far more sensational report from New York Magazine the evening before stating that Halderman and a team of experts tried to persuade Clinton staffers to request that recount, citing a disparity in Clinton votes between counties that used fully electronic versus paper ballot voting.

Some election statisticians and polling analysts quickly dismissed the disparity that alarmed Halderman, arguing that the lack of electronic votes for Clinton compared with paper ones was a misreading of other factors.

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Jim Evans
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