Mobile phone QR code scanning

Colorado will halt its use of QR codes on ballots, citing concerns over the potential for hostile actors to manipulate voting data.

The removal of the codes is a first-in-the-nation security measure, according to a Monday press release from Secretary of State Jena Griswold's office.

“Voters should have the utmost confidence that their vote will count," Griswold said in the release. "Removing QR codes from ballots will enable voters to see for themselves that their ballots are correct and helps guard against cyber meddling.”

Colorado will become the first state "to require voting systems to tabulate all ballots using only human-verifiable information and not QR codes," the release states.

"Because of this initiative, an enhanced system is being developed, and it will be tested and certified before it is deployed. Once fully implemented, all ballots voted in Colorado will be tabulated using the marked ovals on the ballot rather than information from a QR code."

Currently, when a Coloradan votes at a polling location, a device prints a paper ballot that displays the voter's choices and a QR code embedded with those choices.

But the voter cannot verify that the QR code contains the correct data, according to the release, which added that the codes are "potentially subject to manipulation."

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