Commentary: Virginia voters can be certain their votes count

Christopher E. “Chris” Piper and Michael Watson | 8/16/2019, 6 a.m.
The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee concluded in late July that election systems in all 50 states were targeted by Russia ...

The purpose of this move was to eliminate touch screen machines when casting a vote. The touch screen machines did not provide an adequate method of verifying or recounting votes once they were cast.

Optical scan machines, on the other hand, provide a paper record of each ballot cast, allowing the verification of the ballot and the machine reading the ballot. This also allows an audit to occur after an election to ensure the results provided by the voting equipment machine matches the voter’s intent.

As of 2018, Virginia began a post-election audit program, adding one more layer of security and integrity in the electoral process.

In addition to the equipment review, Virginia identified information sharing partners who understand the threat to our elections infrastructure. As part of that effort, Virginia joined the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing & Analysis Center, or EIISAC, a collaboration that brings together all 50 states and more than 1,000 election jurisdictions nationwide.

The center works with state election officials to provide real-time threat sharing, as well as cyber defense training, and has ensured that Virginia is part of a broad national defense against foreign attempts to interfere with our elections.

Virginia has taken many steps to secure our elections. We take this responsibility seriously. We understand that we must always remain vigilant and continue to evolve to stay ahead of potential threats.

We are fully committed to working collaboratively with our partners to maintain safe and secure elections for Virginia’s voters.