VotingWorks, Microsoft, and the State of Wisconsin Partner on Election Pilot

February 17, 2020 — Ben Adida

[See the Wisconsin Election Commission’s Press Release.]

[See the Microsoft Announcement.]

Tomorrow, February 18th, citizens of the Town of Fulton in Rock County, Wisconsin, will have the opportunity to cast their vote in two local contests using VotingWorks machines integrated with Microsoft’s ElectionGuard technology. In addition to the standard voter-verifiable paper ballot provided by VotingWorks equipment, voters will receive a ballot tracking code to take home with them. This tracking code lets a voter directly verify that their ballot was tabulated correctly, all the while preserving ballot secrecy. The official election result will come from a hand tally, which will be checked against both VotingWorks’s and ElectionGuard’s tabulations.

This election is the result of a close collaboration between the State of Wisconsin, Rock County, the Town of Fulton, Microsoft, and VotingWorks. We’re particularly proud to be working with the excellent and forward-thinking Wisconsin Election Commission staff led by Administrator Meagan Wolfe, as well as Rock County Clerk Lisa Tollefson. We’re also proud to be working with Microsoft and their advanced election verification technology, which can provide voters with vastly improved confidence that their ballot was counted correctly. We’re excited to be the first voting-machine vendor to integrate Microsoft’s ElectionGuard technology in a real election.

VotingWorks believes voting systems should be secure, affordable, and simple. That’s why we work closely with voters and election officials, initially in small, controlled, pilot elections just like tomorrow’s, where we can gather real-world feedback that continuously improves voting security and usability. We believe it is important to carry out these small controlled tests for the sake of improving the voting experience, and it is just as important to take great care before scaling up. We look forward to the day where we can make VotingWorks machines available more broadly in Wisconsin. For now, we’re focusing on this small pilot, and we look forward to incorporating the feedback from the citizens of Fulton.