IV. Research and Report Summaries
Observations on Voting Equipment Use and Replacement - United States Government Accountability Office, April 11, 2018: This report focuses on voting equipment used during the 2016 general election; what factors jurisdictions consider when replacing voting equipment; and perspectives on federal voting system guidelines. Findings include:
- Jurisdictions with an estimated 63 percent of the population nationwide used optical or digital scan equipment as their main voting equipment, while jurisdictions with 32 percent of the population used DREs.
- An estimated 93 percent of the population did not experience equipment errors or malfunctions on a very or somewhat common basis.
- Four key factors were identified when jurisdictions consider replacing voting machines: meeting voting system standards and requirements; cost; maintenance considerations and timely vendor support; and overall performance of the equipment.
- Stakeholders generally indicated the current voluntary federal voting system guidelines and related testing processes provide helpful guidance, cost savings, and assurance that certified equipment meets certain requirements. Some stakeholders expressed concern that parts of the guidelines could discourage development of innovative equipment. The Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which is responsible for developing the federal guidelines, is currently updating them with stakeholder input.