While more than 46 million Americans already have cast their votes this year, 80 million or so more will be voting on Election Day itself. If you’re one of them, there’s a good chance you’ll use one of two basic forms of voting technology to record your choices: optical-scan ballots, in which voters fill in bubbles, complete arrows or make other machine-readable marks on paper ballots; or direct-recording electronic (DRE) devices, such as touch screens, that record votes in computer memory. Nearly half of registered voters (47%) live in jurisdictions that use only optical-scan as their standard voting system, and about 28% live in DRE-only jurisdictions, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Verified Voting Foundation, a nongovernmental organization concerned with the impact of new voting technologies on election integrity. Another 19% of registered voters live in jurisdictions where both optical-scan and DRE systems are in use.
… Verified Voting compiles data on voting equipment at the county (and, when relevant, the city, town or village) level. Warren Stewart, who maintains the organization’s database, said he uses the federal Election Assistance Commission’s biennial survey of election practices as a starting point, then cross-checks the EAC data with state and local election offices, news reports and industry information. The registered-voter numbers are from 2014, the most recent complete set available; while the voter rolls likely have grown since then, Stewart said, the overall percentages probably haven’t changed very much. (We should note that the map above depicts the voting method, or mix of methods, generally available to in-person voters on Election Day. Early and absentee votes frequently are cast and tallied differently, and federal law requires all polling places to make disabled-accessible voting systems available as well.)