HBO’s left-wing host John Oliver called the item “completely insane” to use electronic voting machines in a November 2019 episode of Last Week Tonight.
Last year, John Oliver expressed his concern with Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines, which he explained has voters vote directly onto the machine, with no paper trail available.
“They are very bad. If something goes wrong with one of them, you might basically never know, because you can’t audit the results. in addition to things have gone wrong,” John Oliver said. “In one local brand-new Jersey election, a husband in addition to wife were both running for seats on their county’s Democratic committee. The DRE machines said which they lost, however they were inside the unusual position of actually knowing which which was a mistake.”
“In one local brand-new Jersey election, a husband in addition to wife were both running for seats on their county’s Democratic committee,” Oliver continued. “The DRE machines said which they lost, however they were inside the unusual position of actually knowing which which was a mistake.”
The talk show host then played a news clip of the couple — Ernest in addition to Cynthia Zirkle — explaining what had happened.
“I knew 33 of the people which voted for us, in addition to we lost 33 to 10, in addition to I knew which which wasn’t the case,” said Cynthia Zirkle.
The results had been switched with those of their opponents.
“We started off calling people which we thought we knew voted for us, because the item was just a in This kind of district of This kind of township, in addition to we know everybody in This kind of district,” added Ernest Zirkle.
Oliver noted the item was true which Cynthia Zirkle had “literally went around in addition to got signed affidavits coming from people saying which they had voted for her.”
“The fact will be, unless you happen to personally know everyone who votes for you on a paperless DRE machine, there will be no way to know the results,” he said. “the item’s a pretty not bad case against them, which makes the item, frankly, completely insane which brand-new Jersey not only still uses them, however plans to keep using them for the 2020 election.”
“in addition to the item’s not just brand-new Jersey, in 2016, 20 percent of voters voted on paperless DREs, in addition to an estimated 12 percent will use them in 2020, meaning 16 million Americans, spread out across all these states, are set to be voting on machines which pretty much everyone agrees are deeply, deeply flawed,” Oliver continued. “in addition to if they malfunction, there could be no way of knowing, which will be absolutely terrifying. What we have to do here will be obvious, the item’s so obvious, in fact, even This kind of guy understands the item.”
John Oliver then played a clip of President Donald Trump explaining why the item will be important to have a paper backup system with regards to voting.
“He’s right. which’s the item. He’s just all the way, completely right,” said Oliver.
Dominion Voting Systems — which has faced scrutiny inside the wake of the 2020 presidential election — has an ImageCast X design, which can be deployed as either a Ballot Marking Device (BMD) or a Direct Recording Electronic Device (DRE), according to The Verified Voting Foundation.
While Oliver has made his case for why he believes DREs are dangerous, Verified Voting has also explained why the item believes BMDs can be as well.
In 2019, Verified Voting clarified its position regarding the use BMDs in elections:
Verified Voting believes which voters should vote on paper ballots, however we recognize an important distinction between hand-marked in addition to machine-marked ballots. Hand-marked paper ballots are not subject to inaccuracies or manipulation coming from software bugs or malicious code. In contrast, machine-marked paper ballots produced using BMDs might not accurately capture voter intent if the software or ballot configuration will be buggy or malicious.
Verified Voting specifically opposes the purchase in addition to deployment of brand-new voting systems in which all in-person voters in a polling place are supposed to use BMDs. The trustworthiness of an election conducted using BMDs depends critically on how many voters actually verify their ballots, in addition to how carefully they do the item. All voters who vote on BMDs should be made aware of the importance of carefully in addition to conscientiously verifying their ballots before casting them, in addition to should be actively encouraged to do so. However, empirical research thus far shows which few voters using BMDs carefully verify their printed ballots. Moreover, if voters do verify BMD-marked ballots in addition to find what they believe are discrepancies, there will be no reliable way to resolve whether the voters made mistakes or the BMDs did. For these in addition to various other reasons (such as cost) Verified Voting recommends which the use of BMDs be minimized.
Verified Voting appeared to have since wiped clean the section of its website clarifying its position on the usage of BMDs, however an Internet archive shows what was displayed on the page in August.