If e-voting is currently being used, what type(s) of technology used?

United States

United States

  • Direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines with and without voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT)
  • Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) or Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  • Some states allow overseas and military voter to send ballots electronically.

NCSL, Voting System Standards, Testing and Certification, 8/6/2018, accessed 16 February 2019

“After the 2000 presidential election and the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA), most election jurisdictions in the country replaced older mechanical lever voting machines and punch card voting systems with one of two kinds of systems: Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines or optical scan paper ballot systems. A few small jurisdictions hand count paper ballots as well.

DREs use a touchscreen, dial or push button to directly record votes into the computer memory. Some DREs contain a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) printer that allows voters to review their selections on a separate paper record before casting the ballot.

Optical scan machines count paper ballots either at the polling place—a precinct count—or at a central location—a central count. A voter fills in an oval, completes an arrow or fills in a box on a paper ballot, much like standardized tests. Paper ballots are then tabulated using the optical scanner.”

United States of America, Mid-Term Congressional Elections 6 November 2018, ODIHR Limited Election Observation Mission [Final Report], accessed 16 February 2019

“Overseas voters could request an absentee ballot, with many states allowing voters to return it electronically. [...]

The use of new voting technologies is extensive and varies considerably across and within states and jurisdictions. Most states use more than one type of voting machine, because of variations between counties, or to accommodate voters with disabilities or language needs. There is a broad return to paper-based voting, and 42 states and the District of Columbia used optical or digital scanners in conjunction with paper ballots in these elections. Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines without a voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) were used in 15 states, with 5 states relying on them exclusively. Using equipment that does not allow the results to be audited is contrary to good practice. DREs with a VVPAT were used in 17 states. Despite concerns of cyber-attacks, new ballot return technologies for voters overseas were piloted and old voting machines known to have serious usability issues were used in some states.”


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