POLYAS Election Glossary

We provide explanations and background information on elections, voting rights and digital democracy

Voting Machine

A voting machine is an electronic device which can be found at poll sites to complement or replace paper ballot voting. With voting machines it is possible to add special ballot- and voting software to existing PCs and working computers.

Electronic voting machines are special devices which are created for the electronic voting and elections. In contrast to voting with ballot papers, voting computers and voting machines facilitate the counting of votes, and this way expenditures are reduced and cost saving is achieved. Because the voting is also done at the poll site, voting computers also belong to attendance voting.

Earlier forms of voting devices as mechanical switch systems were already known in the USA in the 19th century. Systems with card punching were developed later. Today we have voting computers, which have special soft- and hardware for voting and vote counting, as the common form of voting machines.

See also: In-house elections, Online Voting, Absentee voting, Postal Voting

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