For decades, Lulu Friesdat made election integrity her life’s work. Drawing support from activists and academics, she co-founded Smart Elections, a nonpartisan group that is opposed to some voting machines that Ms. Friesdat believes would increase wait times and cost a small fortune to purchase and maintain.
But since 2020, things have changed. Former President Donald J. Trump catapulted concerns about voting machines into the Republican mainstream by falsely claiming that the 2020 election was rigged, partly because of electronic voting machines.
Election integrity advocates, like Ms. Friesdat, now find themselves in an uncomfortable position, pushing for election security while sometimes amplifying claims made most vocally by conspiracy theorists, including those involved in the so-called Stop the Steal movement.
Some election activists warn that election machines could be hacked or compromised, for example, while some conspiracy theorists say, without evidence, that those hacks have already taken place. Election officials say no hacks have taken place.