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The Machinery of Democracy: Voting System Usability

Publicado: Agosto 28, 2006

On August 28, 2006, the Brennan Center released a report and policy proposals regarding the performance of various voting systems and their ability to allow voters to cast valid ballots that reflect their intended choices without undue delay or burdens. This system quality is known as usability. Following several high-profile controversies in the last few elections including most notoriously, the 2000 controversy over the butterfly ballot in Palm Beach voting system usability is a subject of utmost concern to voters and election officials.

The Brennan Center report concluded that two of the most commonly purchased electronic voting systems today are better at recording voter intentions than older systems like the punchcard system used in Florida in 2000. At the same time, the report faulted one electronic voting system under consideration in New York and in use in parts of New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. This system, the full face DRE, continues to unduly hamper voters ability to easily and accurately cast a ballot for their preferred candidate without undue burden, confusion, and delay.