CISA and VotingWorks Open Sources Post-Election Auditing Tool Arlo

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  • Arlo is already part of a pilot program in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, Virginia, Ohio, and Georgia
  • Earlier this year, Microsoft had open sourced the software ElectionGuard

According to a report by ZDNet, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and VotingWorks have open-sourced Arlo, a tool for the post-election auditing process. The tool has been made available on GitHub. CISA has not developed Arlo (it has been created by VotingWorks) but CISA has adopted the tool.

Presently, it is working to convince state election officials to deploy it before next year’s presidential election. The report said that Arlo is already part of a pilot program to perform post-election audits, which includes verifying the results of the US elections which concluded earlier in November.

Risk-limiting audit

The report said that Arlo is a web-based app designed specifically for the US election process where votes are tallied electronically using software or special machines. To prevent any faulty voting systems or hacking during the process, the US government makes it compulsory that all counted votes go through a post-election audit called Risk-Limiting Audit (RLA) to verify the results.

As per the report, Arlo is designed to automate this auditing process by automatically selecting random voter ballots for the RLA process. This will give auditors information they need to find those ballots in storage and help officials compare audited votes to tabulated votes. This facility will help in monitoring and reporting capabilities for election officials public observers to follow the audit’s progress and outcome.

Pilot program started

As a part of the pilot program, Arlo is being tested in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, Virginia, Ohio, and Georgia. Microsoft had also done something similar earlier this year. It had open sourced ElectionGuard which is an in-house developed software to run on voting machines.

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