Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?
The United States presidential elections held in the year 2000 were fraught with controversy surrounding the methods of ballot counting, which led to a prolonged delay in determining the final result of the election. Subsequent reforms, and the introduction of new electronic voting systems have generated new questions about the reliability and security of technologies being deployed in many areas of the country to address the problems that were encountered.
Douglas Jones and Barbara Simons approach these questions in Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?, a comprehensive analysis that approaches American elections from technological, legal, and historical perspectives. Broken Ballots addresses the implications of voting technologies on public policy and regulatory issues. The history and development of voting technologies is analyzed from a public policy perspective, beginning with mechanical voting machines that were introduced in the 19th century, leading up to current technologies being employed, together with those being proposed for the future.
Beyond technology, Broken Ballots covers the evolution of election laws, government policy and regulation, the accessibility of voting systems, and the companies that manufacture and market voting machines in the United States. It raises the very real question that the extent to which legislation in many regions of the United States continues to lag behind constantly evolving voting technologies often limits legal redress when votes are inaccurately tallied.
By probing these topical and sensitive issues, the authors offer a number of practical solutions for improving the accuracy and fairness of elections. While this book is an indispensable reference for election administrators, policy makers, and legislators, it also provides important guidance to the voting public to help ensure that our votes are properly counted.
A member of computer science faculty at the University of Iowa, Douglas Jones chairs the Iowa Board of Examiners for Voting Machines and Electronic Voting Systems. His expertise in voting technology has involved providing testimony to the United States Civil Rights commission, the US House of Representatives Science Committee, and the US Federal Election Commission.