Voting Equipment Vendor Survey (2002)
FairVote-The Center for Voting and Democracy is encouraged with the increased interest expressed by the general public and elected officials in the effort to upgrade and improve our election process.

We are a member of a coalition of civil rights and reform organizations that monitors standards and laws concerning new purchases of voting equipment and modernization of voting machines.  The coalition includes: the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Brennan Center for Justice, Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, Demos, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

We believe that the great interest in election adminstration reform provides an excellent opportunity to lift our nation's voting equipment to new heights and propose several features to help achieve this goal. We support federal and state requirements that all new voting equipment and software have the following features:
  • Have a precinct-based, error-correcting capacity to ensure that voters have the opportunity to correct or avoid any errors, such as over-votes and under-votes
  • Be flexible enough to handle all ballot types currently used in the United States, including cumulative voting and ranked choice ballots
  • Provide full accessibility to people with disabilities
  • Ensure ballots can be read and understood with minimal assistance by people whose level of literacy is low and by people whose primary language is other than English.
In recognition of this increased interest we conducted a survey of voting equipment vendors, specifically those providing newer electronic technology (e.g. Direct Record Electronic-DRE and Opitical Scan).  We focused on the features listed above, not the broader voting equipment issues.  We recognize there are many other concerns, such as:  cost, availability, certification status, etc.

The survey is intended to provide the specific information essential to evaluate the capability of equipment to meet the requirements of cumulative voting and ranked choice ballots.

The "Issues/Questions" compared for specific voting equipment are:
  • Vendor Indentification
  • Voting Equipment- what types of equipment (DRE, Optical Scan) does the vendor currently offer for sale to local and state governments for public elections?
  • Ballot Types - can the equipment handle cumulative voting and ranked choice ballots?
  • Accessibility for Disabilities - does the equipment provide full accessibility to voters with disabilities?
  • Language Capability- does the equipment provide capability for the ballot to be read by voters whose level of literacy is low and/or whose primary language is other than English?
  • Ballot Image Storage - does the equipment have the capability to record and store the ballot image electronically?

The information received from the vendors is provided in Table I.  We have also listed vendors from whom we are awaiting responses in Table II.

Download FairVote Vendor Survey (2002) - [.pdf - 72 KB]