The United States can be doing more to provide trust in election security to the masses, according to Josh Benaloh, a senior cryptographer at Microsoft.

Benaloh suggested that not enough has been done to provide voters and the public with substantiative evidence to confirm that votes have been properly counted during an online webinar entitled “Technology Innovations for the Future of Election Integrity” hosted by MITRE.

“We have literally millions of Americans who do not have confidence in the election results. Regardless of what you think of this opinion, the people who have expressed these concerns are right about a few things,” said Benaloh.

“We are not providing voters today with any substantive evidence that their votes have been correctly counted,” he added. “Instead, what we’re doing is we’re asking voters to trust various elements of the system.”

At the webinar, Benaloh went into detail on how restoring trust in elections could be achieved through the use of a voting method that he helped developed named “end-to-end Verifiability.”

“An election is end-to-end verifiable if voters are able to verify that their own elections have been correctly recorded and that anyone can verify that the recorded votes have been accurately counted,” he said. “Those are the two criteria we need to combine in order to get end-to-end verifiability.”

Benolah suggested this verifying process can be achieved by providing voters a website to verify that their votes, and all other votes, have been properly counted. By being able to check the votes on the website themselves, he suggested voters would have more trust in election results.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.