May 4, 2018

White House: Paper ballots are best practice

Trump speaks, sitting before an American flag.

Donald Trump. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

After President Trump met with several of his top security advisors yesterday to discuss different ways to enhance protections against foreign influence in U.S. elections, the White House has labeled using paper ballots a best practice for shoring up election security.

Yes, but: 14 states in the U.S. still don’t have systems in place that could create a paper trail of every single vote cast.

Why it matters: In those 14 states, it is easier for political parties to cast doubt on the outcome, especially in close races or swing counties and states — even if no breach occurred.

The timing: Not all 14 states have plans right now to change their systems by 2020, let alone by midterm elections this November.

Who was at the table: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, FBI Director Chris Wray, Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor John Bolton and White House Counsel Don McGahn.

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