paper trail

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paper trail

Physical or digital documentation of a person's activities. The con artist wrote fraudulent checks all over the state, leaving a paper trail for police to follow. Frank swore that he wasn't using the company's computer for illegal activities, but the digital paper trail he left proved otherwise.
See also: paper, trail

*paper trail

Fig. a series of records that is possible to examine to find out the sequence of things that happen. (*Typically: have ~; leave ~; make ~.) The legal department requires all these forms so that there is a paper trail of all activity.
See also: paper, trail

a paper trail

A paper trail is written evidence of someone or something's activities. Police investigations found a paper trail of checks that were written on false bank accounts. Unlike conventional voting systems, many electronic systems leave no paper trail to allow results to be double-checked.
See also: paper, trail
References in periodicals archive ?
He submitted that the EC wrote 10 letters to the Centre in 2014 for funds to introduce paper trail but nothing has yet happened.
The paper trail system is meant to supplement the existing procedure of voting and it allows voters to verify their respective votes.
Alicia Pierce, a spokeswoman for the Secretary of State's office, which oversees elections, said adding paper trail backups to voting machines wouldn't be something her office could decide to do on its own.
While Congress looked the other way, many states responded to popular demand and imposed their own paper trail requirements.
550, a bill that would require electronic voting equipment to have a paper trail, something 27 states already require and 23 others are likely to require soon.
However, as with so many technologies, it can create audit problems by reducing paper trails.
Following that initial warning, a stream of articles focusing on this matter appeared, including one in our January 15, 2001 issue where it was noted, "Since electronic transactions leave no paper trail, in a purely electronic voting system, there would be no way to prove that fraud had taken place.