Introduction: How We Vote: Electronic Voting and Other Voting Practices in the United States

By Douglas, Davison M. | The William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, December 2008 | Go to article overview

Introduction: How We Vote: Electronic Voting and Other Voting Practices in the United States


Douglas, Davison M., The William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal


In recent years, election law has assumed a particularly prominent role in American political life.1 For example, election-related litigation has sharply increased during the past decade, and the winner of a number of high-profile elections has been determined following litigation, including, most prominently, the presidential election of 2000 and the gubernatorial election in Washington in 2004. 2 This issue of the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal is devoted to a consideration of various legal issues that arise out of the way in which we vote in the United States, with a particular focus on issues that arise out of the use of electronic voting technology. Because of the multi -disciplinary aspects of the question of how we vote, this symposium includes scholars from the fields of law, political science, and computer science.

One of the most interesting developments in election law in recent years has been the increasing use of electronic voting technologies. Although promoted for their vote-counting accuracy, electronic voting technologies have raised concerns in recent years about system failure, or worse, system fraud. As one contributor to this symposium, computer scientist Dan Wallach, has noted, "[a]ny voting system must be designed to resist a variety of failures, ranging from inadvertent misconfiguration to intentional tampering."3 Several of the contributors to this symposium address questions that arise out of the use of electronic voting technology.

In his Article, "Voting System Risk Assessment Via Computational Complexity Analysis," Wallach examines the security risks posed by a variety of different voting technologies, and considers which technologies require "more attention to countermeasures and mitigation strategies" to avoid fraud.4 Among the voting methodologies that Wallach considers are electronic voting (with and without paper trails), optical scanned paper ballots (either with in-precinct scanning devices, or off-site scanning devices), and Internet-based voting schemes. Wallach also explores future cryptographic techniques that might help prevent voter fraud. Wallach' s work contributes to the growing literature addressing means of ensuring voting integrity in the wake of the use of increasingly sophisticated electronic voting technologies.

Three contributions to this symposium examine the use of electronic voting technology in the context of specific elections. In their Article, "Voting Technology and the 2008 New Hampshire Primary," three political scientists, Michael Herron, Walter Mebane, and Jonathan Wand, explore claims that the vote counts in the 2008 presidential primaries in New Hampshire were affected by the type of vote-tabulating technologies in use in various precincts across the state.5 During that primary, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, compared to her chief competitor Barack Obama, fared considerably better in precincts using Accuvote optical scan vote-tabulating technology than she did in precincts using hand-counted paper ballots. Similarly, Republican candidate Mitt Romney, compared to his chief competitor John McCain, fared considerably better in precincts using Accuvote optical scan technology than he did in precincts using hand-counted paper ballots. The authors conclude that these tabulation discrepancies are not due to the type of tabulation method used, but rather can be explained by the demographic and political differences between precincts using optical scan technologies and those using hand-counted paper ballots that reflect different voter preferences. They specifically note that precincts using optical scan technologies were disproportionately from southeast New Hampshire and tended to be more densely populated and affluent than those precincts using paper ballots. Hence, demographic differences explain the variation in result, a conclusion supported by an examination of prior New Hampshire elections that produced similar divergent voting patterns. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Introduction: How We Vote: Electronic Voting and Other Voting Practices in the United States
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.