Microsoft’s Vote Tracking Software Clears a Lot of Barriers

Always in a hurry seeking to secure the United States election safe and secure, Microsoft’s ElectionGuard software has been a compelling development. The project, launched in 2019, offers what is known as “end-to-end verifiability,” which means that all voting data is encrypted and private, but there is still full transparency on how to raise of votes and whether to correctly determine a winner. It is open source and designed to be included in voting systems. Last year, Microsoft successfully tested the software on a real election.

The question, however, is whether the makers of private voting machines-which compete with each other in a controlled market-are willing to adopt a technology that any of their rivals can also use. Now even one company says yes.

On Thursday, Microsoft and Hart InterCivic, one of the three leading vendors in the U.S. polling station, were tied. Office has partnered a partnership to pilot the use of ElectionGuard in Hart’s Verity voting system. The idea is to melt Hart’s voting tools with many of the expanded software capabilities from ElectionGuard. The system regularly performs paper backups, encrypts in a special way to allow counting while preserving complete voter security and privacy, and expands the ability to perform audits. after the election. Hart’s ElectionGuard offering will also give voters the ability to check if their vote has already been counted. And the system is independent of verifying anyone who can create an app that will confirm the voting tally for a specific election.

The news came at a time of skepticism and uncertainty among U.S. voters. While election officials have declared the 2020 election one of the most certain in the country’s history, the country is still clear with the wounds left by former President Donald Trump. efforts on injurious confidence of electoral voters. In January, Pew found that more than three-quarters of Trump voters think Trump may or may not have won the election — even if Joe Biden the legitimate winner. There is still a (controversial and much turbulent) audit of the results of the 2020 election. towing Arizona. And Republican lawmakers in many states are pushing for a legislation on voting reform laws in recent months that critics have said has undermined citizens ’voting rights.

“Election officials are excited about any kind of tool that enhances auditing, verification, and transparency, which in turn will improve voter confidence,” said Julie Mathis, CEO and president of Hart InterCivic. “It’s important that this product is designed to meet real -world electoral requirements.”

Hart InterCivic is one of three private vendors that make most of the voting equipment used in the U.S. election, along with ES&S and Dominion. Hart is the smallest of the three, but voting equipment, with touchscreen voting machines and paper scanners, is used in voting districts in more than a dozen states, including Texas (where the title is companies), California, Michigan, North Carolina, and Kentucky. The company has been making ballots and other election equipment for more than 100 years.

But while it’s a move to publicly announce a partnership with Microsoft, details on where to use the ElectionGuard software are still to come. “We’re working on refining where the right pilot location can be, speaking with jurisdictions of all sizes,” Mathis said. “We’re also working with the states, because it’s important that we get state permission to accompany one of the pilots.”

Microsoft’s ElectionGuard is definitely a much newer offering, but it’s coming out more than a decade of research. ElectionGuard relies on a method known as “homomorphic encryption”To protect the sanctity and security of the secret ballots at every step of their journey through the electoral system while still allowing the ballots to be counted and the results audited.

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