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Is your vote safe? Experts discuss digital security versus paper ballots

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Posted at 8:04 PM, Nov 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-02 22:42:22-04

We've heard a lot about digital security this election cycle, everything from leaked emails to Russian hacks. So how safe is your vote?

Once your ballot is cast, where does it go? It goes to the belly of the ballot box.

"We have paper ballots that get read by the scanner and then transmitted and tallied electronically," University of Tulsa Tandy Assistant Professor of Cyber Security and Information Assurance Dr. Tyler Moore said. 

But how safe is your vote once it falls into the voting machine?

"We do have other countries who are interested in manipulating the outcome of our electoral process so according to our intelligence agency, that is the Russian government and they've tried to manipulate the election process not actually voting," Dr. Moore said. 

Dr. Moore says the state of Oklahoma is safe since we use paper ballots. He says they can be physically counted if there's concern. But there are states that rely solely on technology.

"There are about six states in which you have a computer based voting machine and then there is no paper audit trail that's available," Dr. Moore said. "There are electronic audit trails, but those aren't perfect."

But the fear isn't keeping people from registering to vote.

"Of the 22,000 voter registration applications, we received about 18,000 of those were brand new voters," Tulsa County Election Board Secretary Patty Bryant said.  

Those voters can rest easy knowing their ballot is safe.

"I believe that the overall integrity of the process will be assured even in a state whose technology is not as secure as Oklahoma's is," Dr. Moore said. 

If you are in line by 7 p.m. Tuesday night, you will be able to vote. 

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