“Hybrid” or “all-in-one” voting machines combine a printer and a scanner in one voting system. Most hybrid voting machines have what's called a shared paper path, meaning that the ballot travels along the same path for both printing and scanning. This opens up opportunities for a ballot to be changed after it is cast. Security experts call this design "A disaster."
Why Do Security Experts Say "Hybrids" With a Shared Paper Path Are "Bad"?
"No voting machine is immune from hacking." - Andrew Appel, Professor of Computer Science, Princeton University
So Why Are "Hybrids" with a Shared Paper Path Worse Than Other Voting Machines?
The ballots are what we rely on to check that the machine has counted the votes correctly. If the paper ballot itself has been corrupted, a trustworthy hand-count of the paper ballots is not possible, and there is no way to know the true outcome of the election.
Professor Rich DeMillo, Chair of the School of Cybersecurity and Privacy at Georgia Tech, calls the ExpressVoteXL, "These all-in-one devices pose extraordinary risks for the voters of New York and I urge you to reject their use in favor of the secure hand-marked ballot systems currently used throughout the state.."
Do Election Officials Know How Risky "Hybrid" Voting Machines Are?
The NY State security lab NYSTEC said that if a "hybrid" machine was hacked, “a forensic analysis would be needed on all ballots in question to determine if a human or machine made the mark. Such a process is unlikely to be trusted by the public.”
The lab said, "If the attack were to occur the impact would be very high."
The ExpressVote XL counts votes with barcodes. Security experts warn that the system “could change a vote for one candidate to be a vote for another candidate,” if it were hacked. Colorado, a leader in election security, has banned barcodes in voting, due to the high risk.
The ExpressVote XL is applying for certification in New York with end of life software: Windows 7. Old software is dangerous because after a certain point it is not supported by the software company. Then it is impossible or very expensive to get security updates and the system is at higher risk of being successfully hacked.
If "Hybrid" Voting w/a Shared Paper Path is Banned , What Will Happen to "Hybrids" That Are in Use?
The main "hybrid" voting system with a shared paper path in use n New York is the Dominion ICE. It could be used as a scanner, or ballot-marking-device. But not both.
Some counties using these systems are leasing, and they can end their lease.
Port Chester Village is using the ExpressVote XL, by court order. It is not clear what would happen there.