Latest Research from the VTP

An N-Version Electronic Voting System

Working Paper No.: 
17
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Soyini D. Liburd
MIT
The ballot battles of the 2000 US Presidential Election clearly indicate that existing voting technologies and processes are not sufficient to guarantee that every eligible voter is granted their right to vote and implicitly to have that vote counted, as per the fifteenth, nineteenth, twenty fourth and twenty sixth amendments to the US constitution. Developing a voting system that is secure, correct, reliable and trustworthy is a significant challenge to current technology.

Certification of Voting Software: Position Statement

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Ted Selker
Computers are important in every aspect of modern life. Automative tabulating machines are designed to be the most consistent and reliable counting approach invented. Still, questions of reliability, security and auditability persist. Ken Thompson and others have shown that, like other carelessly composed processes, computer programs can harbor potentially criminal activity. To be useful for voting, software must simplify and improve the ability to record and report intentions.

American Attitudes about Electronic Voting, Results of a National Survey

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
Thad E. Hall
This study examines current attitudes of the American electorate toward electronic voting. This issue is critical to understand, given the highly argumentative debate going on among media and political elites on this topic, as well as the movement in many states and localities toward electronic voting systems. If American voters lack confidence in electronic voting systems--or for that matter all the various voting systems they may use in this fall's presidential election--the basic integrity of our democratic system could be in jeopardy.

Studying Elections: Data Quality and Pitfalls in Measuring the Effects of Voting Technologies

Working Paper No.: 
21
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
Stephen Ansolabehere
R. Michael Alvarez
Professor Geralyn Miller reminds us of the range of voting administration practices across the United States. We use this variability to study the average performance of various types of voting equipment throughout the country (Ansolabehere and Stewart n.d.). Professor Miller suggests that the performance of equipment is, in fact, quite variable across states.

Orienting Graphical User Interfaces Reduces Errors: The Low Error Voting Interface

Working Paper No.: 
23
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Jonathan Goler
Matt Hockenberry
Ted Selker
This paper demonstrates opportunities for reducing errors eith orienting graphical interfaces for voting. We have built many interfaces to explore opportunities for keeping voters aware of selections they have made and are making. Tests of our best prototypes show that missed races and incorrect selection errors are greatly reduced with orienting graphics. The interface reduces errors significantly while extending the time required to vote.

Who Does Better with a Big Interface? Improving Voting Performance of Reading for Disabled Voters

Working Paper No.: 
24
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Lorin F. Wilde
Jonathan Goler
Ted Selker
This study shows how ballot interfaces variably affect the voting performance of people with different abilities. An interface with all information viewable simultaneously might either help orient or overwhelm a voter, depending on he/her skill-set. Voters with diagnosed reading disabilities performed significantly better on full-faced voting machines than those who demonstrated a high likelihood of similar, but undiagnosed, disabilities. In contrast, the diagnosed group performed worse than others when using standard-sized Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) systems.

American Elections: A Critical Moment for Research and Reform

Working Paper No.: 
29
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
The 2004 election provided important lessons regarding the performance of voting technology, about continuing problems with voter registration and provisional balloting, issues with procedures and poll site voting practices, and raised questions about the liberalization of early and absentee voting. There are a series of important issues that should be the focus of the election research and reform agenda in coming years:
  • Developing and implementing statewide voter registration databases
  • Improving poll site practices

Measuring the Impact of Voting Technology on Residual Vote Rates

Working Paper No.: 
37
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Delia Grigg
No abstract available.

Lessons and Trends in E-Voting: Initiatives in the U.S. and Abroad

Working Paper No.: 
38
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Thad E. Hall
R. Michael Alvarez
No abstract available.

An N-Version Electronic Voting System

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Soyini D. Liburd
The ballot battles of the 2000 US Presidential Election clearly indicate that existing voting technologies and processes are not sufficient to guarantee that every eligible voter is granted their right to vote and implicitly to have that vote counted, as per the fifteenth, nineteenth, twenty fourth and twenty sixth amendments to the US constitution. Developing a voting system that is secure, correct, reliable and trustworthy is a significant challenge to current technology.

Pages