Last updated on: 4/23/2008 | Author:

What Is a Software Patch?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

The National Academy of Sciences’ 2005 report “Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting,” stated:

“A vendor may uncover a potentially problematic issue in software that has been previously certified and address the issue in a program patch… [A patch] is any change to a software program.”

2005 - National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

U.S. Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) explained in the May 23, 2003 Congressional Record:

“A ‘patch’ [is] a modification to the voting machines’ software program.”

May 23, 2003 - Rush Holt, PhD

Ellen Theisen, CEO of the Vote-PAD Company, stated in her May 12, 2004 paper “Voter-Verified Paper Ballots Are Not Enough to Fix DRE Problems,” available at the VotersUnite! website:

“‘Patch’ is an innocuous word, like ‘glitch.’ But a patch means that the code has been changed to fix a bug.”

May 12, 2004 - Ellen Theisen, MA

Oracle Corporation, an information technology company, included the following definition in their online glossary (accessed June 29, 2006):

“Patch – A software update designed to repair known problems or ‘bugs’ in previous software releases.”

June 29, 2006 - Oracle Corporation