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'Sneakernet' Helps Election Officials Process Results


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A voter wears patriotic sneakers.

The "sneakernet" is a system for transmitting electronic data by physically conveying it from place to place, lacking a direct connection to the Internet for security reasons.

Credit: Jeff Gritchen/SCNG/Zuma Press

U.S. election officials used voting machines and other devices linked to the "sneakernet"—a system for transmitting electronic data by physically conveying it from place to place—to process results from Tuesday's elections.

Much of the tabulating, reporting, and auditing process is digitized, dependent on specialized software and computers not connected to the Internet, to thwart hacking.

Voting data from scanned paper ballots is extracted onto flash drives hand-carried to central locations to tabulate and report results.

The drives also are used to send total vote tallies to a central, Internet-connected computer.

Election experts said the sneakernet is a much safer means for sharing data than online.

Said Barbara Simons, chair of the board of directors at nonprofit Verified Voting and former ACM president, “We can’t trust computers alone. We need hand-marked paper ballots, systems for voters with disabilities, a strong chain of custody, and postelection ballot audits.”

From The Wall Street Journal
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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