In a few hours, we’ll know the results of one of the most momentous US elections in recent memory. The stakes are high, because the policy differences between the two major parties are substantial. We don’t need to wait for the polls to close, however, to know this: the people overwhelmingly distrust the systems we’re using to run our elections. This is a major crisis of democracy in the making.
Thanks to critical work by researchers and election officials across the country over the last 20 years, we know a few things about what a good voting system should look like. It should offer voter-verified paper ballots and support post-election statistical audits. It should be easy-to-use and provide accessibility features to any voter that needs them. And it should be affordable, so that states and counties can afford to open as many precincts as needed and voter lines can be as short as possible.
We know this, and yet today’s voting machines are often insecure, not particularly easy-to-use, and so expensive that they’re often used much longer than they were designed for and election officials are forced to hunt for replacement parts on eBay. The market has failed us.
VotingWorks was founded to address this critical need. VotingWorks is a non-profit building a secure, affordable, open-source voting machine. We’ll be designing in the open, building off the great work that’s come before us. Follow us on Twitter for updates, and subscribe to our announcements mailing list.