Post-Election E-Voting News

By David Bruggeman
November 30, 2006

Two items of e-voting interest – aside from the ongoing audit in Sarasota County, Florida. has released its report on the 2006 election. It outlines the various difficulties experienced across the U.S. and notes that while there were no widespread problems, it would be hard to characterize the first widespread use of electronic voting machines as a success.

A draft report released by NIST and concerning the 2007 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines strongly encourages only using voting systems that are software independent (the accuracy of the election is not dependent on the accuracy of the software). The report does note that a DRE without a paper trail would not be considered software independent. To wit (page 12):

“The most obvious ramification of requiring SI in VVSG 2007 is that paperless DREs could not be certified to VVSG 2007. Purchase of paperless DREs would still be permitted, but certification of new paperless DREs would be prohibited after, likely, 2009/2010 when compliance with VVSG 2007 may be required. This effectively leaves only voter-verified paper approaches for certification in the near/foreseeable future, including op scan, EBM devices, DRE-VVPAT, and, possibly, some E2E approaches. ”

Since we are only now starting with the 2005 voting guidelines, which do not require software independent systems, do not take effect until December of 2007, any changes to current voting systems will likely take place in a few years.