Background

Virtually all voting systems in use today (punch-cards, lever machines, hand counted paper ballots, etc.) are subject to fraud and error, including electronic voting systems, which are not without their own risks and vulnerabilities. In particular, many electronic voting systems have been evaluated by independent, generally-recognized experts and have been found to be poorly designed; developed using inferior software engineering processes; designed without (or with very limited) external audit capabilities; intended for operation without obvious protective measures; and deployed without rigorous, scientifically-designed testing.

Recommendations

To protect the accuracy and impartiality of the electoral process, ACM makes the following recommendations:

 ·  All voting systems -- particularly computer-based electronic voting systems -- embody careful engineering, strong safeguards, and rigorous testing in both their design and operation; and,

 ·  Voting systems should also 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 result produced and stored by the system. Making those records permanent (i.e., not based solely in computer memory) provides a means by which an accurate recount may be conducted.

Ensuring the reliability, security, and verifiability of public elections is fundamental to a stable democracy. Convenience and speed of vote counting are no substitute for accuracy of results and trust in the process by the electorate.

 (This policy statement was adopted by both USACM and ACM's Council; therefore, it is an adopted position of ACM. More on this statement and the poll ACM conducted of its Members can be found on the weblog.)

 

Related Articles

Washington News – Alerts and Updates
General Announcements * Nominations for ACM Distinguished Member are due by August 3. Security * The U.S. Department of Commerce is accepting public comments on proposed revisions to definitions in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The revisions are relevant to encrypt ...Read More

  • (Posted on 21-Jul-15)
  • EAC Technical Guidelines Development Committee Will Meet July 20-21
    The U.S. Election Assistance Commission announced the members of the renewed Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC). The Committee will hold its first meeting on July 20-21 at the NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland to begin the process of moving forward with t ...Read More

  • (Posted on 20-Jul-15)
  • EAC Call for Nominations for Technical Guidelines Development Committee
    The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are accepting applications for four vacancies on the EAC Technical Guidelines Development Committee. Candidates should have significant technical and scientific expertise r ...Read More

  • (Posted on 06-Jul-15)
  • Washington News – Alerts and Updates
    General Announcements * USACM signed a letter to President Obama from a variety of civil society organizations urging him to reject proposals that require U.S. companies to deliberately weaken the security of their products. The letter encourages a focus on public policies to pro ...Read More

  • (Posted on 09-Jun-15)
  • Washington News – Alerts and Updates
    General Announcements * USACM submitted comments on the NIST roadmap for usability and accessibility of future elections. USACM’s comments highlight the importance of usable and accessible voting technologies and systems and the need to improve and ensure the right of all voters ...Read More

  • (Posted on 11-May-15)
  • USACM Comments on NIST Roadmap for Usability and Accessibility of Next Generation Elections
    USACM submitted comments on the NIST roadmap for usability and accessibility of future voting technologies and systems. The roadmap represents a positive and achievable plan for working toward inclusive participation of all voters in elections and improved accessible, usable, and ...Read More

  • (Posted on 04-May-15)