Electronic Voting System Usability Issues

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2003-01-21

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With the recent troubles in U.S. elections, there has been a nationwide push to update voting systems. Municipalities are investing heavily in electronic voting systems, many of which use a touch screen. These systems offer the promise of faster and more accurate voting, but the current reality is that they are fraught with usability and systemic problems. This paper surveys issues relating to usability of electronic voting systems and reports on a series of studies, including one with 415 voters using new systems that the State of Maryland purchased. Our analysis shows these systems work well, but have several problems, and a significant minority of voters have concerns about them. Keywords Electronic voting systems, Direct Recording Electronic (DRE), voting usability. (UMIACS-TR-2002-94) (HCIL-TR-2002-23)

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