Electronic Voting, a balloting system that allows votes to be entered and recorded in an electronic form. These balloting systems are also referred to as e-voting or direct-recording electronic systems (DREs). The voter uses a direct entry device to register vote selections, and the entries are transferred (via circuitry) to electronic recording media, such as a computer hard drive or a memory card. The direct entry device may be electronic, as with a touch-screen, or electromechanical, such as a panel of pushbuttons.
The set of selections made by an individual voter comprises a ballot. Electronic voting systems typically record the entire ballot as an electronic “image” although there is no real picture of the ballot, just data that represent the voter’s choices. After the polls close, the contents of the ballots are tabulated and reported by the voting system as vote totals. These totals are typically provided in a printed paper format that can be read by the workers at the individual precinct (or polling) locations. The totals can also be provided in an electronic form that can be transferred to a central system where the various precinct totals are consolidated at the municipal, county, or state level. See also Election.
Balloting systems in which the voter makes selections on paper that are subsequently recorded electronically by using optical scanning or punch-card readers are considered to be electronic tabulation and are not truly electronic voting methods. The votes were not originally made electronically and so are not considered a form of electronic voting. However, vote-by-phone and Internet voting systems would be considered types of electronic voting because the original votes are made electronically.
II. ORIGINS OF ELECTRONIC VOTING
Electronic voting has been used in United States elections since the mid-1970s. The first electronic voting system is believed to be the Video Voter, an electromechanical device. The incentive for adopting...