+ Slide 12

Part of a talk delivered to the ITU Workshop on ... issues in E-Government, June 6, 2003, Geneva
by Douglas W. Jones
THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Department of Computer Science


Voting Systems

Mechanical Voting Machines


First Used 1892, Lockport New York

By 1930, universally used in urban areas in the United States

By 1950, "to pull the lever" and "to vote" were synonomous


Advantages over Paper Ballots

    Machine is perceived to be impartial

    Totals available in minutes

    Perceived to be "state of the art" technology



    Thousands of moving parts
        Complete testing of the mechanism is very expensive

    No record of individual ballots
        No meaningful audit trail

    Reliance on technicians for maintenance
        A corrupt technician can control a county