American Confidence in Electronic Voting and Ballot Counting: A Pre-Election Update

Morgan Llewellyn
Thad E. Hall
R. Michael Alvarez

This study examines the confidence that voters have that their ballot was counted accurately in 2004 and the attitudes of the American public toward electronic voting. As many states and localities move to new—and often electronic—voting systems, understanding public confidence and public attitudes is critical for policy makers. This study includes several key findings:

  1. There has been a decline in confidence among voters from 2005 to 2006 that their vote in 2004 was counted accurately. Part of this decline is likely the result of a prospective concern that their vote in 2006 may not be counted accurately.
  2. African Americans are currently less confident than whites that their votes were counted accurately.
  3. Roughly one-third of respondents did not have an opinion about the potential benefits or liabilities of electronic voting systems. This may represent uncertainty about electronic voting machines, a lack of familiarity with them, or ambivalence about their use.
  4. The public views electronic voting as making voting easier for people with disabilities and making it more accurate to vote.
  5. The public also thinks that electronic voting machines are prone to unintentional failures and agreed that they increase the potential for fraud.
Date Published: 
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