We got started building our voting system in Mississippi. Mississippi’s certification requirements allowed us to quickly start testing with voters. Most importantly, many Mississippi counties used paperless voting systems, allowing us to immediately improve voting security by reintroducing paper. The short documentary “How We Vote Here” tells that story.
Our Design Philosophy
Voting should be:
Secure. Voters should have strong confidence that their vote was recorded correctly and that all votes were counted fairly. Voters should not depend on blindly trusting election officials or vendors, VotingWorks included.
Affordable. If voting equipment is too expensive, poor counties suffer, and voting is no longer representative of the will of the people. That’s unacceptable to us.
Accessible. Many millions of voters have some significant disability or sensory/motor impairment that makes casting a secret ballot challenging. We believe providing all Americans, abled or not, with a secure secret ballot is a requirement of the highest order.
Delightful. We can make voting amazing. Voters should leave the polls not only confident that their vote was correctly recorded, but excited about how easy and pleasant the experience was. And not only voters: poll workers should have a delightful experience, too.
We combine these principles with pragmatism: no system can be perfect on any one principle without deeply compromising others, so we look to design a system that finds the best combination of strong — if imperfect — solutions to each of these challenges.
Paper Ballots & Risk-Limiting Audits
The two critical design pillars of our voting system are:
- Voter-verifiable paper ballots.
- Performing risk-limiting audits to confirm election outcome.
As we explore ways to improve voting, these two pillars will remain invariant.
All of our source code is available on GitHub.