E-voting: Southeast states

The e-voting situation in 10 Southeastern states

STATES: Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia

In some ways, the story of 21st century American e-voting began in Florida, where the hanging-chad debacle of 2000 prompted passage of the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and accelerated adoption of electronic voting machinery and new voter-registration database systems. Six years later, the state that an October report by The Century Foundation characterizes as "the Ground Zero of voting machine troubles" continues to confound observers, with myriad problems with machine functionality and even the distribution of functional machinery to precincts. Lawsuits, bitter political rivalries and changes to the voter ID system round out a difficult situation.

Joining Florida on the Electionline watch list is Georgia, the first state to adopt paperless direct-recording electronic (DRE) technology and one that is currently wrestling with the issue of voter IDs. Elsewhere in the region, Tennessee and West Virginia have had trouble receiving their chosen e-voting machines from supplier ES&S, while a battle over updates to the Alabama voter-registration database took on ugly partisan overtones over the summer.

evoting checkmark
 indicates a state where at least some precincts are using electronic voting systems without a voter verified paper audit trail.

ALABAMA
Registered voters

Approx. 2,418,000
Voting equipment vendor
ES&S
Technologies
Optical scan, ballot-marking device
Legal requirements
A voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) is not required by law, but machines with that capability are in use statewide (they are, after all, optically scanning a paper ballot). There is no requirement for manual audits of randomly selected precincts.
Voter registration database
Alabama signed a contract with Diebold in May 2005 but canceled in September of that year when it discovered that the company would only license the database software, not permit the state to own it. In addition, many counties refused to merge their data with the state system. Negotiations were reopened, and Justice Department officials took the state to court. Currently, Gov. Bob Riley, a Republican, is overseeing a committee (download PDF) that hopes to bring the database into HAVA compliance during 2007, having removed control of the electoral process from the Democratic official previously in charge.
Government links
- 2006 Election Information (Secretary of State)
- HAVA plan (download PDF)
In the news
- Registered voter list errors might impede some, Associated Press, Oct. 26, 2006
- Justice Department Sues Alabama Over Voting Rights, DOJ press release, May 1, 2006
- Flap over Alabama statehouse race, CBSNews / AP, Nov. 9, 2002

Return to the main map for Election 2006: Can we count on e-voting?


evoting checkmark

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Registered voters

Approx. 293,000
Voting equipment vendor
Sequoia
Technologies
Optical scan, DRE
Legal requirements
Legislation requiring voter-verifiable paper trails and manual audits of randomly selected precincts has been proposed but not enacted.
Voter registration database
Districtwide database is fully HAVA-compliant; district plans security upgrades.
Government links
- D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics
- HAVA plan (download PDF)
In the news 
- Washington Area Avoids E-Voting Misery, Washington Post, Nov. 3, 2004

Return to the main map for Election 2006: Can we count on e-voting?

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