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's possible to add special ballot- and voting software to existing PCs and working computers.

Electronic voting machines are specialized devices which are created solely for electronic voting and elections. In contrast to voting with ballot papers, voting computers and voting machines facilitate the counting of votes, and by doing so cost savings are made. Because voting is also done at the poll site, voting computers represent a form of attendance voting.

Earlier forms of voting devices were mechanical switch systems 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.

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

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