Automated Voting Machines - Overview


Electronic voting systems for electorates have been in use since the 1960s when punched card systems debuted. Their first widespread use was in the USA where 7 counties switched to this method for the 1964 presidential election. The newer optical scan voting systems allow a computer to count a voter's mark on a ballot. DRE voting machines which collect and tabulate votes in a single machine, are used by all voters in all elections in Brazil and India, and also on a large scale in Venezuela and the United States. They have been used on a large scale in the Netherlands but have been decommissioned after public concerns. Internet voting systems have gained popularity and have been used for government elections and referendums in the United Kingdom, Estonia and Switzerland as well as municipal elections in Canada and party primary elections in the United States and France.

There are also hybrid systems that include an electronic ballot marking device (usually a touch screen system similar to a DRE) or other assistive technology to print a voter verified paper audit trail, then use a separate machine for electronic tabulation.

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