Voters confused by e-voting technologies

January 28, 2008

A study led by the University of Maryland suggested that electronic U.S. voting technologies are efficient but too many voters ask for help too often.

The researchers, including scientists from the universities of Rochester and Michigan, found any problems associated with e-voting systems -- especially touch-screen technologies -- cannot be addressed by just adding paper trails.

"Recent history is clear: The election problem most likely to tilt a close race is not security but the inability of voters to cast their ballots the way they intended," said Paul Herrnson, principal investigator and a University of Maryland political scientist.

"The hazards of poor ballot design didn't end with Florida's hanging, pregnant and dimpled chads in 2000," he said. "But tremendous improvement in voters' abilities to cast their votes accurately and without assistance can be accomplished simply by improving the way ballots are laid out on touch screen and paper-based systems."

The five-year study focused on usability issues and relied on data from field tests with more than 1,500 subjects, laboratory tests and expert reviews.

The study's results and recommendations are reported in a new book, "Voting Technology: The Not-So-Simple Act of Casting a Ballot," published by the Brookings Press.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Arkansas court disqualifies 2nd medical marijuana proposal

Related Stories

Arkansas court disqualifies 2nd medical marijuana proposal

October 27, 2016

The Arkansas Supreme Court has disqualified a medical marijuana proposal from the November ballot less than two weeks before the election and with thousands of votes already cast, but voters will still be able to consider ...

Hacking the election: questions and answers

October 8, 2016

The US government's accusation that Russian government-directed hacking aimed to disrupt the November election comes amid fears about the security of the voting process.

Recommended for you

Microsoft aims at Apple with high-end PCs, 3D software

October 26, 2016

Microsoft launched a new consumer offensive Wednesday, unveiling a high-end computer that challenges the Apple iMac along with an updated Windows operating system that showcases three-dimensional content and "mixed reality."

Making it easier to collaborate on code

October 26, 2016

Git is an open-source system with a polarizing reputation among programmers. It's a powerful tool to help developers track changes to code, but many view it as prohibitively difficult to use.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.