Voting - What Is, What Could Be (2001)
Report No.:  1
Date Published:  2001-07-01


Voting Technology Project


On December 15, 2000, the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced a collaborative project to develop new voting technology in order "to precent a recurrence of the problems that threatened the 2000 presidential election." The problems in the 2000 election go well beyond voting equipment. This report assesses the magnitude of the problems, their root causes, and how technology can reduce them. We call for a new architecture for voting technology that is tailored to the communication and computing technologies that have revolutionized our society. We also see a new system of continual innovation that can be supported by the federal government.

What Is

Our data show that between 4 and 6 million votes were lost in the 2000 election. Our analysis of the reliability of existing voting technologies and election systems shows that the U.S. can substantially reduce the number of lost votes by immediately taking the following steps:

What Could Be

In the long term, the voting equipment industry will develop new technologies. Our report includes the following recommendations to ensure that the best available technologies are developed by this industry:


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