CSLI Publications logo
new books
catalog
series
contact us
for authors
order
search
CSLI Publications
Facebook
 
cover

Broken Ballots
Will Your Vote Count in the Electronic Age?

Douglas W. Jones and Barbara Simons

For many of us, the presidential election of 2000 was a wake-up call. The controversy following the vote count led to demands for election reform. But the new voting systems that were subsequently introduced to the market have serious security flaws, and many are confusing and difficult to use. Moreover, legislation has not kept up with the constantly evolving voting technology, leaving little to no legal recourse when votes are improperly counted. How did we come to acquire the complex technology we now depend on to count votes? Douglas Jones and Barbara Simons probe this question, along with public policy and regulatory issues raised by our voting technologies. Broken Ballots is a thorough and incisive analysis of the current voting climate that approaches American elections from technological, legal, and historical perspectives. The authors examine the ways in which Americans vote today, gauging how inaccurate, unreliable, and insecure our voting systems are. An important book for election administrators, political scientists, and students of government and technology policy, Broken Ballots is also a vital tool for any voting American.

April 2012 (electronic version, August 2012)

Authors' web page on the book

Testimonials for Broken Ballots

“Americans want to believe their votes are counted reliably, fairly, and fully, yet they have a nagging suspicion that all is not well in our country's voting systems. Broken Ballots chronicles in the greatest detail how these suspicions have been examined and how improvements have been pursued, rejected, implemented, or defeated. Jones and Simons detail the intricacies involved in maintaining the integrity of voting procedures and technologies and in protecting the outcome of elections from error or manipulation.

“Presenting evidence that ballot box access and security are under serious threat by the push for unauditable voting machines and untested and unsecured internet-based voting, Broken Ballots forces us to examine closely our electoral process. As a nation, we must take a serious look at the suggestions provided by Jones and Simons and enact the legislation needed to make strides toward secure, accessible, and verifiable elections. What can be more important?”

Representative Rush Holt (NJ-12)
April 9, 2012

“The cornerstone of our democracy is the right to vote and the right to have that vote counted as it was intended. Broken Ballots first demonstrates clearly and compellingly the extent to which that right is in jeopardy. Then it lays out a plan to preserve and protect that right. Kudos to the authors and to all those fighting to safeguard our democracy.”

Kevin Shelley
Former California Secretary of State

Broken Ballots is the definitive source of information about voting technology, past and present. But it is not purely focused on technology issues; it also thoroughly examines the policy issues surrounding the use of various voting technology. Most importantly, it documents the history of how these issues have been dealt over the centuries.

“The authors were directly involved in making some of that history in the last decade. This recent history is a particularly fascinating case study of many aspects of the making of policy about the use of technology, including the roles of business, election officials, politicians, activist, and technologists.

“It is not possible to understand elections without understanding the technology that makes them function (or malfunction). This book is essential reading for anyone who cares about elections.”

Professor David Dill
Computer Science
Stanford University

Contents

  • 1 Introduction 1
    • A Book Overview 3
  • 2 Deja Vu All Over Again 7
    • 2.1 The First Round 8
    • 2.2 The First Voting Mechanisms 15
    • 2.3 The Australian Ballot 18
    • 2.4 How Secret? 20
    • 2.5 Voting Machines 21
    • 2.6 Industrialization 25
    • 2.7 Consolidation and Monopoly 28
    • 2.8 Adopting Voting Machines 30
  • 3 How Did We Get Here? 33
    • 3.1 Scandal in Chicago 35
    • 3.2 Fraud and Reform in the Interwar Era 38
    • 3.3 Problems with Mechanical Voting Machines 42
    • 3.4 The Rise of the Punched Card 46
    • 3.5 The Trouble With Chad 50
    • 3.6 The Success of the Votomatic 52
    • 3.7 What's Wrong with the Votomatic 55
  • 4 Filling in the Bubble 59
    • 4.1 Central-Count Machines 64
    • 4.2 Precinct-Count Machines 66
    • 4.3 Mark-Sense Machines in Action 75
    • 4.4 What is a Vote? 80
    • 4.5 The Human Element 81
    • 4.6 Image-Based Mark Sensing 85
    • 4.7 New Directions 89
  • 5 Trusting in Technology 91
    • 5.1 Voting by Electricity 93
    • 5.2 The First Generation at the Polls 96
    • 5.3 Second Generation DRE Voting Systems 101
    • 5.4 What's Wrong with DRE Voting? 108
    • 5.5 Voter Verifiability 111
    • 5.6 Experimental Studies 117
    • 5.7 What Happened in Sarasota? 119
  • 6 Establishing a Standard 123
    • 6.1 The Press for Standards 126
    • 6.2 The 1990 Voting System Standards 129
    • 6.3 2002 and Interim Standards 139
    • 6.4 The Help America Vote Act of 2002 141
    • 6.5 The IEEE steps in 148
    • 6.6 Continuing Developments 152
    • 6.7 International Standards 155
  • 7 The Problems with Diebold 159
    • 7.1 Overview 160
    • 7.2 Early Events 162
    • 7.3 Early State Diebold Studies 167
    • 7.4 Demonstrations of Election Rigging 171
    • 7.5 Some Later State Diebold Studies 177
    • 7.6 Linda Lamone and Maryland 182
    • 7.7 What Can We Learn from Diebold? 187
  • 8 The California Soap Opera 189
    • 8.1 Some Early Events 190
    • 8.2 Shelley Battles Vendors & Election Officials 192
    • 8.3 California's Revolving Door 201
    • 8.4 More Diebold Revelations 204
    • 8.5 The Top to Bottom Review 207
    • 8.6 Conclusion 212
  • 9 Voters with Disabilities 215
    • 9.1 A Story 215
    • 9.2 A Second Story 217
    • 9.3 Many Voices 218
    • 9.4 Some Early Legislation and Litigation 221
    • 9.5 The AAPD 223
    • 9.6 Vendor Financial Contributions 227
    • 9.7 Lawsuits 232
    • 9.8 How Accessible are DREs? 236
    • 9.9 What Lies Ahead? 238
  • 10 The Right to Vote 241
    • 10.1 Some Background 243
    • 10.2 Issues Relating to Voter Registration 251
    • 10.3 Studies and Proposed Reforms 254
    • 10.4 Voter Registration Databases (VRDs) 257
    • 10.5 The Future of VRDs 262
  • 11 Internet Voting 265
    • 11.1 The DC Pilot Test 265
    • 11.2 Internet Risks 269
    • 11.3 Early Reports 279
    • 11.4 Misconceptions 281
    • 11.5 Ignoring the Obvious 284
    • 11.6 Military Voting 286
    • 11.7 Some Other Countries 296
    • 11.8 The Future of Internet Voting 301
  • 12 Missed Opportunities 303
    • 12.1 The Role of Public Interest Groups 305
    • 12.2 The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) 311
    • 12.3 Efforts to Reform HAVA 313
    • 12.4 The 2008, 2010, 2012 Elections and Beyond 327
  • 13 Voting, Counting, and Auditing 329
    • 13.1 Manually Counting Ballots 330
    • 13.2 Post-Election Audits and Recounts 333
    • 13.3 Examining Other Aspects of Elections 338
    • 13.4 Other Voting Models 340
    • 13.5 Why Audits Matter 344
  • 14 Conclusion 345
    • 14.1 Recommendations 347
    • 14.2 Looking Ahead 352
  • Appendix: Disability Rights Groups' Lawsuits 355
    • A.1 Lawsuits involving Jim Dickson or the AAPD 355
    • A.2 Lawsuits involving the NFB 356
  • References 357
  • Index 423

ISBN (Paperback): 9781575866369
ISBN (Cloth): 9781575866376
ISBN (electronic): 9781575866499

Add to Cart
View Cart

Check Out

Distributed by the
University of
Chicago Press

pubs @ csli.stanford.edu