Microsoft hopes its technology helps Americans trust voting again

Hailey Satler, Staff Editor

Voters in Fulton, Wisconsin, are testing a new voting system. Instead of the usual paper ballots, voters made their selections on new digital tablets made by Microsoft. Microsoft calls this new system ElectionGuard. ElectionGuard, a voting software developed by Microsoft as part of its “Defending Democracy” project. They use a relatively new form of encryption to secure votes and tally them in minutes. It’s designed to make it harder for hackers to break into the system, but also to make it immediately obvious if the system is tampered with.

These Tablets load the chosen candidate onto plastic cards outfitted with memory chips that incrips that vote which makes it even more difficult to tamper with the vote. When the card is inserted into a card reader, the vote is saved to a computer and printed a paper copy of each ballot to be placed in a ballot box.

The reason Microsoft created this software was the last election in 2016. It is believed that there was foreign meddling in the American voting system that has been top of mind for election officials. Just last week, the intelligence community’s top election security official told US lawmakers that Russia is believed to be taking steps to interfere in the 2020 election with the goal of helping President Donald Trump win.