Election 2016

Maryland ballot audit can combat claims of a 'rigged' system, Johns Hopkins expert says

Computer scientist Avi Rubin calls plans to use independent firm to validate state's results 'terrific'

Maryland election officials have hired an independent, Boston-based firm to conduct a post-election audit of every ballot cast in the state—a move Johns Hopkins computer scientist Avi Rubin has called "terrific."

Rubin tells Baltimore's Fox 45 News that in light of complaints by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and others about the American electoral system being rigged, other states could follow Maryland's lead in conducting independent audits.

"In the event that Trump loses and then says that it was rigged, we can go back and say look, we're counting the votes, we recounting, we're auditing, we know our election ran correctly," Rubin says.

In January, Rubin told Scientific American that the most secure voting system involves making selections on a touchscreen computer, printing out a paper ballot, which the voter then reviews before submitting to a separate optical scanning machine. He tells Fox 45 News that with paper ballots, fraud is much more difficult, if not impossible.

"In the past, we had an election system that didn't even have any capability of being audited, so now we've gotten to the other extreme where we're going to audit all the ballots and I think it's terrific," Rubin says. "I think any sort of outside control that you can have over the election is great."

Officials say results of the audit, conducted by Clear Ballot, would not be completed until more than a week after the election.

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