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Paper trails for electronic voting machines coming to Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Millions of dollars are going in to making sure the votes of Hoosiers are safe and verifiable.

Soon, it will be much easier for you to verify your vote at the polls.

“In 60 of our counties, if you vote on an electronic direct-record machine, you can’t actually see the tape. You can’t actually know how your vote is recorded,” Secretary of State Connie Lawson explained Wednesday.

Inside a black box is a paper audit trail that’s added to existing electronic voting machines.

So how does it work?

“This machine allows me to verify my vote. If I hit verify, you can see this tape moves up,” Lawson explained. “I can see on paper exactly how this machine recorded my vote. It gives the voter more confidence that this is done properly.”

That little paper isn’t a receipt, so voters can’t take it home. But, that means election officials can audit the results and confirm the vote was counted.

“When you leave the machine, when you cast this vote, it goes up so the next person can’t see how I voted.” Lawson added.

Millions of dollars came from state lawmakers this past legislative session to outfit 10% of Indiana’s electronic voting machines with these boxes.

“Six million went for the voter verifiable paper trail adaptions to the direct-record electronic,” Lawson said. “We’ll be using the other money to run programs through Ball State, our voting system technical oversight program.”

News 8 asked Hoosier voters what they think about this election security technology.

“Sometimes I’ll vote, put it in the machine, and think, ‘they probably counted it the way I wanted them to.’ But, seeing that verified, I think would be a good thing.” Indianapolis voter Matt Wilson said.

“From my perspective, I don’t really have a whole lot of concern that there’s any lack of integrity that really has a chance to affect elections as a whole,” said Deven Rampersaud, an Indianapolis voter.

According to Lawson, some voters will see this machine in November. Most voters will see it in spring 2020.