Homeland Security calls for ‘verifiable ballots’ in 2020 US poll

Washington: The United States Department of Homeland Security has asked poll officials to ensure that the ballots which will be used in the 2020 presidential election are “verifiable and auditable”.

In a press briefing, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Wednesday asked all state and local election officials to make certain that by the 2020 presidential election, every “American votes on a verifiable and auditable ballot.”

“Our systems must be resilient. We must be able to demonstrate that the votes count and that they are counted correctly,” Nielsen was quoted by The Hill as saying.

She also recommended three ways to audit the ballots- first, by using paper ballots, second, using machines that print out a person’s vote and third, using a machine that send a duplication transmission when someone exercise his or her franchise.

The Homeland Security chief emphasised that the election officials should ensure trust in the polling structure by maintaining a system of auditable and verifiable ballots.

“I don’t know if we are interested in mandating how, I am just interesting in making sure each state can explain to their citizens what they have done to verify the vote count,” Nielsen added.

She further said that the US government is constantly working with the officials in all the 50 states, identifying and managing risks to ensure that an individual’s vote is safeguarded, the report said.

Nielsen’s comments came amid massive concerns of foreign opponents attempting to meddle in future US election, including the midterm polls, slated to be held in November this year.

Earlier this week, Microsoft Corporation announced that six websites created by hackers linked to Russia’s military, hinting at possible foreign interference ahead of November’s midterm elections, have been shut down.