In 2016, five states used DREs statewide, including Georgia and Pennsylvania, with a handful of others using DREs in multiple jurisdictions. Fortunately, by 2020, Louisiana was the last one with statewide DRE usage. Congress provided grant funding in 2018, 2019 and 2020 to states to help them retire the paperless machines and roll out auditable systems. As the 2020 election season began, Delaware, Georgia, Pennsylvania and South Carolina all swapped over to paper-based systems. Then the emergence of the pandemic prompted a nationwide surge toward the use of voting by mail.
The combined efforts over the past three years moved the total number of expected votes cast with a paper ballot above 90 percent, including the traditional battleground states. While I no longer regularly speak to election officials, my understanding is that in the 2020 results no significant discrepancies attributed to manipulation have been discovered in the post-election canvassing, audit and recount processes.
This point cannot be emphasized enough: The secretaries of state in Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania, as well officials in Wisconsin, all worked overtime to ensure there was a paper trail that could be audited or recounted by hand, independent of any allegedly hacked software or hardware.
That’s why Americans’ confidence in the security of the 2020 election is entirely justified. Paper ballots and post-election checks ensured the accuracy of the count. Consider Georgia: The state conducted a full hand recount of the presidential election, a first of its kind, and the outcome of the manual count was consistent with the computer-based count. Clearly, the Georgia count was not manipulated, resoundingly debunking claims by the president and his allies about the involvement of CIA supercomputers, malicious software programs or corporate rigging aided by long-gone foreign dictators.