These days with reports of how fake news and hacks have the potential to impact and influence the election in countries around the world, steps to counter and fight that needs to be taken, and this is something that Microsoft is working towards by announcing its open-source ElectionGuard software.

According to Microsoft, “ElectionGuard will make voting secure, more accessible, and more efficient anywhere it’s used in the United States or in democratic nations around the world.” The company adds, “Among ElectionGuard’s many benefits, it will enable end-to-end verification of elections, open results to third-party organizations for secure validation, and allow individual voters to confirm their votes were correctly counted.”

ElectionGuard has not been designed to replace current voting systems, nor is it a machine. The idea is that it sort of supplements existing voting systems which means that voters need to familiarize themselves with a new system. Instead, the changes will be made to the backend where ElectionGuard will allow authorities to tabulate and store votes and audit them if necessary.

It will also allow voters to keep track of their votes securely and privately. “ElectionGuard provides a complete implementation of end-to-end verifiable elections. It is designed to work with systems that use paper ballots, supplementing today’s tabulation process by providing a means of public verification of the accuracy of reported results.” The software is expected to be piloted at the 2020 elections in the US.

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