NEW – Untested AI software was used to verify mail-in ballot signatures in highly contested localities like Clark County, Nevada. The Silicon Valley firm behind it (called Parascript) boasts close ties to Lockheed Martin & Microsofthttps://t.co/qamAuXQgYT
— Whitney Webb (@_whitneywebb) November 10, 2020
The artificial intelligence algorithm of Parascript, a little known Silicon Valley company, was used to compare signatures on voting ballots in last week’s election for acceptance.
The software is far from foolproof. The accuracy of such systems varies between 74% and 96%, but as Kyle Wiggers at Venture Beat notes, even that range may not be accurate.
“We don’t have benchmarks from the systems that are in use to verify signatures on these mail-in ballots. We basically have to go by what the manufacturers of the systems are telling us, which is that the systems are accurate,” Wiggers says.
Reuters inquired with Parascript as to where its software is being used, but the company declined to divulge that information. It said only that their clients “included 20 of the top 100 counties by registered voters.”
Reuters has been able to ascertain the software is used in many states, including Florida, Colorado, Washington, and Utah.
It was also used in Clark County, Nevada – one of the most hotly-contested counties in the country in last week’s election.
Many counties allow Parascript’s software to approve as much as 75% of the mail-in ballots received. For several counties, the staff reviews 1% or less of the AI software’s acceptances.
The company enjoys a close relationship with defense contractor Lockheed Martin and tech giant Microsoft, and its founder, Stepan Pachikov, is a longtime donor to Democratic presidential candidates.