Election Universe

Online survey reveals voters want more and better voting technology

Online survey reveals voters want more and better voting technology
December 06 2016, 12:24

An online survey conducted by Edelman Intelligence right after the recent U.S. presidential election revealed that voters are ready for an overhaul of the election technology inventory.

According to survey results, 82% of voters believe improving U.S. voting technology would make the voting process more efficient, increase voter turnout and strengthen democracy.

In the months prior to the November 8 elections, different institutions warned about the delicate state of the election infrastructure. According to NYU Law School’s Brennan Center study, 43 states were to use electronic voting machines aged at least 10 years. Voters noticed this when they headed to the polls to cast their ballots. 32% of surveyed voters said the voting technology at their local polling place was outdated and 25% found the process time-consuming and inefficient.

The study also surveyed 500 poll workers across the nation. They agreed with the appreciation expressed by voters, as 38% of poll workers manifested having witnessed or experienced problems with the voting technology at their polling place.

The results of this survey have made it utterly clear that the current state of U.S. voting systems is taking a toll on trust. Only 32% of voters strongly trusts that their local polling station’s results were accurately tabulated. 42% of poll workers are concerned about the accuracy of the voting technology used at their polling station.

79% of voters stated that voters want and deserve better voting technology. 83% of poll workers agreed. It is important to note that, having experienced problems with technology, voters and poll workers are not necessarily wanting to revert back to manual voting. Data shows that those voters who voted at the polls using e-voting machines demonstrate the highest level of confidence in their voting method.

The answer to fixing US voting systems is complex. For some there’s a natural tendency to go backwards, to embrace familiar but outdated technologies. But the future is digital. More advanced technology is necessary to move forward. 51% of nationwide and 56% of poll workers surveyed voters believe voting machines are associated with the most secure voting systems.

The research was commissioned by Smartmatic. Data was collected from November 9 – 16, 2016 during a nationwide online survey among 1,000 nationally representative voters and 550 poll workers.

More information can be found here.