Free, open-source Election Guard software designed to secure voting systems from hackers will be available to US election officials beginning this summer, the computer giant microsoft said in a press release on Monday.
“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,” the release said.
ElectionGuard, developed with the assistance of a partner firm, Galois, will be available starting this summer to election officials and election technology suppliers who can incorporate the technology into voting systems, the release said.
The system will be packaged in a free, open-source software kit from Microsoft’s Defending Democracy Program, the release added.
To demonstrate the new system Galois plans to build a prototype using a $10 million in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Products Agency (DARPA), according to the release.
The release made no mention of widespread introduction of paper ballots or ballot receipts in the United States following fears during 2016 elections that hackers could theoretically penetrate voting systems and alter vote totals, according to the release.
All but five US states have deployed voting systems that produce a so-called paper trail so results can be double checked, or if necessary, confirmed in an audit, according to published reports.