Maryland Report – Scanners Cost Less than DREs

A new study commissioned by the state of Maryland has just taken a close look at the relative cost of optical-scan paper-ballot voting systems compared with electronic touch-screen systems, and found that optical-scan paper-ballot systems are less expensive . These findings are timely and important not only for Maryland, but for other states as well. With Maryland’s direct-recording…

Unique Challenges of Election Administration

For most Americans the election has been over for two weeks, but for the state and local officials tasked with administering elections the process continues. Most jurisdictions are involved in the certification process, during which vote totals are confirmed, absentee ballots are tabulated and the status of provisional ballots are determined. Over half the states…

Pulling the Lever for Paper

Author: Bo Lipari The 2010 elections quietly marked a milestone in election technology history. For the first time in over a hundred years, this was the first national election in which mechanical lever machines were not used. Lever machines were at one time so ubiquitous in US culture that the phrase “pull the lever” is…

Paper vs. Electronic Voting in Houston

Author: Dan Wallach Back in late August, Harris County (Houston)’s warehouse with all 10,000 of our voting machines, burned to the ground. As I blogged at the time, our county decided to spend roughly $14 million of its $40 million insurance settlement on purchasing replacement electronic voting machines of the same type destroyed in the fire,…

Vote Flipping and Touch Screen Calibration

Again this election cycle, stories have emerged about “vote flipping”, most notably in Texas, where a video of erratic touchscreen behavior was posted on several sites, and in several North Carolina counties. (link, link, link, link) As voting technology expert Douglas Jones wrote several years ago, it seems unlikely that vote flipping is evidence of intentional hacking. However, these incidents do highlight…

Comprehensive Map of US Voting Equipment Released

Voter-marked paper ballots dominate among U.S. voting methods, but one fourth of voters still depend on unverifiable equipment Verified Voting has released a new version of the Verifier, a map of voting technology used throughout the United States and territories, along with a statistical summary of voting technology that States will use this November. The…

Hacking the D.C. Internet Voting Pilot

Author: J. Alex Halderman This article was posted at Ed Felten’s “Freedom to Tinker” blog and is re-posted with permission. The District of Columbia is conducting a pilot project to allow overseas and military voters to download and return absentee ballots over the Internet. Before opening the system to real voters, D.C. has been holding…

States May Use Federal HAVA Funds for Post-Election Audits

Author: Sean Flaherty Post-election audits of electronic vote tallies are inexpensive.  The process is simple: a sample of precincts (or batches of ballots that have been tallied electronically) is chosen randomly, counted by hand, and compared to the corresponding computer tally.  To mention just two examples, North Carolina conducted an audit of  the Presidential election…