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Public opinion's influence on voting system technology

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The US general election in 2000 represents a turning point in elections history. A laborious count and analysis of what was statistically a tie vote in Florida decided the highly scrutinized contest for US president. Simultaneously, voting system standards continued evolving, spurred in part by the introduction of new, high-power technologies. These factors, coupled with an unprecedented level of public scrutiny, changed nearly all aspects of the election process. With its recounts, interpretation of voter intent, and presumed problems related to punch-card voting, the 2000 presidential vote triggered the passage of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and the massive trend toward direct recording electronic voting systems (DREs). The election process, which had always been taken for granted, now faced intense scrutiny from the media, computer scientists, conspiracy theorists, advocacy groups, and the general public. The US Federal Election Commission approved new voting system standards designed to ensure that election equipment certified for purchase by participating states would be accurate, reliable, and dependable.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 3 )