Microsoft Wants to Make Voting More Secure by the 2020 Election

Senior Writer
Updated

Microsoft wants to make sure your vote is secure the next time you head to the polling booths. Announced today at Build 2019, ElectionGuard is a new open-source software development kit (SDK) designed to improve the antiquated systems we use to vote for public officials.

Credit: Rob Crandall/ShutterstockCredit: Rob Crandall/Shutterstock

There are several ways in which ElectionGuard prevents people from tampering with a vote. For one, the software is verifiable so third-parties and even individual voters are given the transparency to ensure the results are correct. It does this by giving voters a unique code that lets them track their vote through the entire election process.

Of course, every vote is encrypted by ElectionGuard, and the SDK even supports auditing by aiding election officials with an electronic record of every ballot cast in the election.

A reference voting system using ElectionGuard will be made public this year that will show off how Microsoft's developer kit to keep voting secure. But this is more than just a concept. In fact, your vote might be protected by ElectionGuard the next time you fill out a ballot.

ElectionGuard will be available this summer, and Microsoft says it already has partnerships with election tech suppliers for more than half of the voting machines used in the United States. Microsoft expects ElectionGuard to be ready for piloting during the 2020 elections.