The next big issue in election administration in the U.S. will revolve around technology: voting equipment, electronic poll books, election management systems, and other hardware and software designed to serve voters and election administrators.
The bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA) named “addressing the impending crisis in voting technology” as a key recommendation in its final 2014 report. The recommendation is based on the fact that existing voting equipment, much of it deployed in the years immediately following the 2000 election, is reaching the end of its useful life.
Many states and jursidictions purchased the machines that they are currently using with federal funds provided by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. Federal funds will most likely not be available in the near future, so states may find themselves needing to play a role in the next round of voting equipment purchases.
NCSL maintains resources on this subject. Links to our most popular resources are below. If you don't see what you need, please ask if we have additional materials we can offer.
- State Legislatures Magazine articles:
- Articles in NCSL's elections newsletter, The Canvass:
NCSL Projects and Meetings
Elections Security: States Teaming Up: regional meetings to convene lawmakers focused on election policy, as well as chief election officials and national elections security experts. Together, these groups will identify policy options to strengthen elections practices.
- Elections 2020: Policy, Funding and the Future: explores the legislative role in selecting elections technology appropriate to each state's needs, potential state and local funding options, and the web of responsibilities relating to elections technology. Supported with a generous grant from the Democracy Fund.
- The Future of Elections: Technology Policy and Funding Conference: agenda and resources, including powerpoints and handouts from this conference in Williamsburg, Va. in June 2017. Part of the Elections 2020 Project funded by the Democracy Fund.
- The Elections Technology Project: connects legislators who serve on election committees,legislative staff who deal with elections policy, and state and local election officials to explore technology’s role in running efficient elections. Project funded by the MacArthur Foundation.
- Policy and Elections Technology: A Legislative Perspective Conference: agenda and resources, including powerpoints and handouts. Part of the Elections Technology Project funded by the MacArthur Foundation.