The 2020 Presidential election was accompanied by conspiracy theories and false accusations targeting the U.S. electoral system. Almost all aspects of the process have been subject to disinformation, from collecting and counting the votes to the physical election machinery itself.
Voting machines – known as a ballot marking devices (BMDs) – use touchscreen computers to print out a paper ballot for every in-person voter and are widely used across the country.
BMDs ensure that people can vote independently and privately. They allow voters to modify font size, the interface, or change the displayed language. They also decrease the likelihood of a ballot being uncounted or counted incorrectly by eliminating stray pen marks and the possibility of voting for too many candidates in a race.
On the other hand, BMDs are criticized for their potential risks to election integrity and security and emerging vulnerabilities.
Why is it important?
BMDs will likely serve a more significant role in election infrastructure in the U.S. for the foreseeable future.
They have been the subject of misinformation that can be used to undermine trust in elections.
The false allegations against Georgia for supposedly changing Trump votes to Biden votes cause legitimate concerns about BMD security to be challenging to discern from the outlandish claims about election machinery.