Last updated on: 7/12/2010 | Author:

Did You Know?

1. The first direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machine that was used in an election was patented on Feb. 19, 1974 and was called the Video Voter. It did not contain a computer but relied on projected light and phototransistors.
2. Electronic voting machines were first used in elections in Streamwood and Woodstock, Illinois in 1975.
3. US Congress passed the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) following the 2000 US Presidential election to provide $3.9 billion in funding for jurisdictions to replace lever machine and punch card systems with electronic voting machines and optical scan systems.
4. Georgia was the first state to use direct recording electronic voting machines on a statewide basis in 2002.
5. In 2004, Maryland owned 16,000 Diebold AccuVote-TS electronic voting machines, each with two locked bays to protect the machines from tampering. The locks on the machines were identical, and they could all be opened by the same key.
6. 17% more voters used electronic voting machines in 2004 than 2000, thus marking the largest rise of a specific voting system from one election to the next since 1980.
7. The average cost of a typical direct recording electronic voting machine is between $2,500 and $3,500. In 2004, Maryland purchased 16,000 machines for $55.6 million, equalling $3,475 per machine. A disabled-accessible voter-verified paper ballot printer could add as much as $1,000 per voting station.
8. In March 2004 electronic voting machines used in Santa Clara County, California gave audio instructions directing blind voters to press a yellow button. Blind voter Sam Chen commented, "Yellow means nothing to me."
9. The American Association of People with Disabilities (AADP), the country's largest disability member organization, issued a policy statement in 2003 supporting the implementation of direct recording electronic voting machines.
10. Touch screen electronic voting machines that include an audio interface allow the visually-impaired to vote without assistance. Alternative voting systems such as punch card and mechanical lever require visually-impaired voters to seek assistance.
11. From 1996 to 2010, Dr. Michael Shamos offered a $10,000 prize in The DRE Tampering Challenge to anyone who could hack an electronic voting machine so that it did not count votes properly and so those alterations were undetectable. No one accepted the challenge.
12. Over 100,000 votes were not counted by the iVotronic voting system during the Nov. 2006 Florida election according to the Florida Fair Elections Center.
13. Diebold Inc. sold its US election-systems business to Election Systems & Software Inc. on Sep. 3, 2009. Following the sale, Election Systems & Software Inc. controlled over three-quarters of the voting machine market.