Heading Into Midterms, USACM Re-emphasizes Role Of Technology In Elections

By David Bruggeman
October 16, 2014

With mid-term Congressional elections fast approaching, USACM released a statement to emphasize the importance of voting technology in elections.  It echoes past statements from USACM on voting, including its 2013 remarks to the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.  In the statement USACM outlines seven principles needed to effectively protect the accuracy and impartiality of elections:

  • Reliability: Minimize the chances of failures and ensure the success of holding elections for which citizens trust results, whether or not they supported the outcome.
  • Responsiveness: Ensure that voters can register, vote, and be notified of results within the time limits required by the system.
  • Security: Prevent the insertion of users or votes into the system, the removal of votes, or the determination of vote content by unauthorized personnel.
  • Privacy: Protect the identities and votes of system users.
  • Auditing: Allow ballots to be recounted accurately and without revealing voters’ individual choices.
  • Accessibility: Ensure that voting systems, including voting technologies, are accessible and usable for every citizen throughout the voting process.
  • Usability: Ensure validated design of paper and electronic ballots so users can confidently record their intent.

USACM continues to recommend that voting systems:

  • Embody careful engineering, strong safeguards, and rigorous testing in both their design and operation;
  • Enable each voter to inspect a physical (e.g. paper) record to verify that his or her vote has been accurately cast, and to serve as an independent check on the results produced and stored by the system; and
  • Make stored records permanent to enable an accurate recount of the vote.