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Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting (2006)

Chapter:Appendix A Glossary

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11449.
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Appendixes

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11449.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11449.
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A
Glossary


Algorithm

—a precise set of steps that can be used to solve some problem.

Audit

—in an election context, an activity that seeks to validate and verify as many aspects of the election cycle as possible without violating state privacy laws. An audit may involve a recount of the votes, but this is only one of the actions that an audit may entail.


Ballot definition

—the process through which a physical ballot form is created, including the selection of the contests in question and how they appear on the form.

Ballot provisioning

—the process of providing a voter with the correct ballot form on which to vote.


Certification

—a process undertaken by states to certify that a given voting system is acceptable for use. In principle, only certified systems may be used in an election, although the reality is sometimes at variance with this requirement.


Overvoting

—an indication on a cast ballot that more than one choice has been made in a single-choice contest. Overvotes are invalid votes.


Provisional vote

—a ballot cast by a voter whose credentials for voting in a particular precinct cannot be verified on Election Day. If his or her credentials are subsequently verified after Election Day, the ballot is eligible to be counted.


Qualification

—a process undertaken under the authority of the federal Election Assistance Commission to “qualify” voting systems. An independent testing authority, designated by the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), evaluates a voting system to see

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11449.
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if it meets or exceeds the Federal Elections Commission’s 2002 Voting Systems Standards.


Residual vote

—the sum of overvotes and undervotes for a given election contest.


Source code

—a computer program rendered in human-readable form that also clearly lays out the structure of the program.


Undervoting

—a lack of indication on a cast ballot about the voter’s choice for a given contest. Undervotes are legal, because there is no requirement that a voter must vote on every contest, but may or may not reflect the actual intention of the voter in casting (or not casting) a vote for the contest in question.


Voter-verified paper audit trail

—a physical paper record of voter ballots as voters have cast them on an electronic voting system that the voter may verify corresponds to his or her intent in casting those votes.

Voting station

—the physical unit on which a voter casts a vote. Any given electronic voting system may involve hundreds of identical voting stations located in many different precincts.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11449.
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Page135
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11449.
×
Page136
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11449.
×
Page137
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11449.
×
Page138
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Many election officials look to electronic voting systems as a means for improving their ability to more effectively conduct and administer elections. At the same time, many information technologists and activists have raised important concerns regarding the security of such systems. Policy makers are caught in the midst of a controversy with both political and technological overtones. The public debate about electronic voting is characterized by a great deal of emotion and rhetoric.

Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting describes the important questions and issues that election officials, policy makers, and informed citizens should ask about the use of computers and information technology in the electoral process—focusing the debate on technical and policy issues that need resolving. The report finds that while electronic voting systems have improved, federal and state governments have not made the commitment necessary for e-voting to be widely used in future elections. More funding, research, and public education are required if e-voting is to become viable.

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