Going to vote in this year's election? If you're like most of the country, your vote will never be read by a human. According to Election Data Services, a bipartisan election research firm, for 99.8% of the U.S. population, your vote will be handled by a machine. Voting technology is diverse — more than 40 different types are in use across the nation, divided into four broad categories: lever, punch card, optical scan, and electronic (the last 0.2% use paper ballots, checked by human eyes). Machines by their nature can't have biases, but how do you know the technology won't spoil your vote? Or worse, could a technologically minded person tamper with your vote?
We asked the experts those same questions. DVICE consulted voting-machine experts, watchdog groups, manufacturers, election officials, studies and reports. The result is DVICE's Guide to Voting Machines in the USA: a comprehensive breakdown of all the voting technologies that you may encounter on Election Day. All the information is presented through a beautiful interactive map.
What machine will you see when you go to vote on Nov. 4? Could that machine be hacked? How likely are you to make a mistake? Which areas are the most vulnerable? We answer all of these questions for every kind of machine, and for every state. We tell you which machines are the most hackable, and which are the most error prone — and where they all are.
To be clear, DVICE is in no way saying that votes are likely to be hacked or spoiled. There has never been a proven case of widespread technological voter fraud in the U.S. But you only have to look at the Florida recount of 2000 to get a sense of how technological problems with voting can be a big deal. Our Guide is simply an attempt to address these issues in a meaningful way.
What are you waiting for? Head over to the map!