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Expert says Michigan's 'optical scan' voting system is secure

people in voting booths
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Alex Halderman - the University of Michigan professor who successfully hacked into a test version of the Washington, D.C.'s computer voting system - says Michigan voters should not be worried that their votes will be tampered with on Tuesday's election. 

Haldermn says most of Michigan’s polling places use optical scanners: voters fill out paper ballots that get scanned into a computer.

Halderman says optical scanners offer a pretty high degree of security because of the paper trail and "anywhere where we’re not using paper in the voting process, or we’re not using it properly, [is] a cause for concern."

He says Michigan's voting system isn't perfect, though. He says election officials don’t do routine audits to make sure that the paper ballots are scanning properly, but that he's "hoping to convince them to do that in future elections."

Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.