Originally developed in the 1970s, direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines have become increasingly used nationwide. After the 2000 US presidential election's troubles with "pregnant” and "hanging” chads and the subsequent passage of the 2002 Help America Vote Act which swelled use of DREs, electronic voting technology became widely debated.
Proponents argue that electronic voting machines are secure, able to unambiguously capture the intent of a voter, capable of preventing residual votes, reliable, easy to use, calculate and report voting results faster, and are accessible to disabled, illiterate, and non-English speaking voters.
Opponents of electronic voting machines argue that DREs give too much power over public elections to their private manufacturers, are vulnerable to hacking and other forms of tampering, do not allow for meaningful audits and recounts, and do not offer voters a trustworthy way to verify their votes.
Voting Machines ProCon.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit website that presents research, studies, and pro and con statements related to direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines. Throughout this website, the term 'electronic voting machines' refers to direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines and not optical-scan machines. Although optical-scan machines use an electronic reader to tabulate the vote totals, voters mark their selections on a paper ballot and are not directly recording their votes into the machine.