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Ditching QR codes, Colorado will count votes a more old-fashioned way

Colorado is dropping the use of QR codes from ballots statewide, saying the ubiquitous square bar codes are susceptible to hacking that could manipulate election results.

This will make Colorado, likely one of the most hotly contested states in the 2020 presidential contest and also home to one of next year's premier Senate races, the first state where all ballots get tabulated "using only human-verifiable information," officials said in an announcement Monday.


"Voters should have the utmost confidence that their vote will count," said the new secretary of state, Democrat Jena Griswold. "Removing QR codes from ballots will enable voters to see for themselves that their ballots are correct and helps guard against cyber meddling."

Under the current system, the choices made by an in-person voter are turned into a QR code that's embedded on each paper ballot, although the voter cannot "proofread" the code for accuracy. In time for the 2020 election, the state will deploy a system for counting the votes based on the colored-in ovals on each ballot.

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