Can you imagine using the same mobile phone that you used in 2005? Neither can I. Yet, the technology that runs our elections hasn’t changed in more than a decade. Anyone who has voted in California knows well that our voting machines are in dire need of an upgrade. Some counties, including Santa Clara, use paper ballots. Election officials desperate to shore up antiquated voting technology have resorted to buying spare parts at online auctions just to keep their machines working. It’s estimated that 70 percent of all voting machines nationwide need to be replaced before the 2020 election, a third of that before 2018. The state and, for that matter, our country can no longer rely on vulnerable technology that depends on spare parts and is susceptible to bad actors.
The Open Source Election Technology Institute–made up of a number of non-partisan Silicon Valley technologists and social entrepreneurs–took up the cause almost a decade ago. When we looked at the industry, we couldn’t believe it.
There’s no innovation and no commercial incentive to change it. It’s an industry with cash strapped customers—our local and state election officials—and too few vendors. In fact, the industry is collapsing. There are only three vendors and one of them controls nearly two-thirds of the global market. In many states, there is only one option.
That’s not a market—it’s a threat to the integrity of the voting process. It’s why we took on the challenge of building new election technology that is more trustworthy and easier to use—we call it the TrustTheVote Project. The Institute firmly believes that our public benefit work will improve the voting experience and lessen the burden on government.
In the meantime, there is much to do.
Full Article: Miller: Upgrading our voting systems is long overdue.