The security of the paper ballots in Nebraska, Douglas County

Published: Dec. 20, 2019 at 10:03 PM CST
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An NBC investigation questions the security of voting machines millions of Americans will use in the upcoming election. An Omaha company is the largest producer of voting machines in the country. We take a look at election security in the state.

Officials tell us the state of Nebraska buys its voting machines from election systems and software.

The state has partnered with ES&S since the inception of the company in 1976, officials in Douglas County believe the machines are safe and secure.

Voters in Douglas County have used paper ballots for years and years. The vote-counting machines in Douglas counties new election commissioner headquarters are not hooked up to the internet, the machines are not tied together, and you have to go through a number of checkpoints just to get into the room where the machines are located.

Brian Kruse is the Douglas County Election Commissioner.

“So to even get beyond the lobby you have to have a card swipe and that will bring you into the next area and here is our counting room in here with the machines to gain access into here we actually have two-part authentication,” said Kruse.

In the counting room, there are security cameras and a lot of windows. Kruse says Nebraska and Douglas County are the gold standard for the paper ballot.

With all the concern about possible voter interference in the upcoming election, Douglas county officials believe their voting system, while a little old school, is very safe and secure.

“So sometimes we're a little slow to change here in Nebraska but now all of a sudden we're the cool kids again with the paper ballots that we've had for years and years,” said Kruse.

Kruse expects a record number of voters to go to the polls in 2020. Well over 300,000 people so far have registered to vote in Douglas County.