Why we need new election technology

I work at the Open Source Digital Voting Foundation, where we are creating new, modern, open source, and publicly owned  technology for operating all aspects of voting in the US.


By the way, do not assume this means 'internet voting' -- it does not. There is a lot of old technology use to run elections today, a lot of it developed and sold (expensive) by for profit companies. And there's a lot more to running an election than how a voter casts a vote. We aim to develop tools and technology that is made available for free to anyone who wants it.


It's important and exciting work. I came across this bit as a small reminder of why we need it:


"Once the polls close, each of the digital scanners used at the city’s polling sites spews out a supermarketlike receipt. Election workers cut the paper strips and sort them by election district, since a polling place may serve more than one district. They then use a calculator to tally the results for each candidate, and the count is transcribed by hand onto “return of canvass” forms. They are given to police officers at the polling places, who take them to local precinct houses, where the numbers are entered in a computer and transmitted to the board and to The Associated Press — which distributes them to other news organizations." (from Recount Finds 195,000 Voters Were Missed on Election Night)

 

Posted on December 3, 2010 and filed under Politics, Technology.