Kilroy Was Here
February 08, 2003
Facts and Recommendations on Electronic Voting
From the Cal Tech-MIT Voting Technology Report:
- The election process lost 4 to 6 million presidential votes in 2000
- An estimated 1.5 million presidential votes were not recorded in 2000 because of difficulties in using voting equipment.
- Up to 3.5 million Senate and governor votes were lost because of technology over the last election cycle for these offices.
- According to the US Census Bureau, in the 2000 election, 7.4 percent of registered voters who did not vote (approximately 3 million) reported that trouble with their registration was the main reason they did not vote.
- According to the US Census Bureau, in the 2000 election 2.8 percent of registered voters who did not vote (approximately 1 million) reported that long lines, inconvenient hours, or polling place locations were the main reason they did not vote.
Electronic voting will change how we vote in the near future. To capture the full potential of electronic voting, a substantial change in the development and evaluation of equipment is required. The federal government should develop a coherent national approach to the development of this technology.
- A standard equipment platform must be developed to guarentee that voters can verify their votes and that voters can create a copy of their votes that can be used in the event of a recount (full auditability). We recommend that this platform consist of modular voting equipment, whcih allows for the separate development of equipment for generating votes and of equipment for casting and for counting votes. This will allow for the development of very secure equipmetn for casting and counting votes and for continual improvement in the ballto of interface design.
- We must build to the best of breed in other sorts of electronic technology. The federal government must establish and fund an election technology research program for the development of equipment. This program will focus on ballto and interface design, on security, and on handicap accessibility.
- The federal government must create and fund a system for evaluating equipment, based on lab and field testing of equipment. This will be more efficient than the curretn system, whcih, at best, relies on demonstration projects run by the firms that develop and sell equipment.
- New standards must be developed focusing on appropriate standards for security, human usability, and handicap accessibility. These standards must evolve, based on the lessons learned through research and evaluation program.
- Many election officials know little about voting systems used elsewhere in the country. The federal government should fund a clearinghouse for information about election equipment, election administration costs, and voter registration and polling place practices. This clearinghosue will act as a sort of "Consumer Reports" for countries.
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