Elections 2016: New Study Reveals US Voters Risk Being Left behind by Today’s Voting Systems

Smartmatic research uncovers voter concerns about current voting
procedures and technologies, and highlights voter frustrations ahead of
Super Tuesday primaries

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In advance of the March 1 Super Tuesday primaries, Smartmatic released
new research today highlighting broad concerns among registered US
voters about the current state of the US election system and the risks
of voter disenfranchisement. The new research underlined the connection
between inconvenient voting processes with outdated technologies and
decreased voter participation.

Surveying more than 1,000 registered voters, Smartmatic’s research
revealed that a majority view the current voting system as inefficient
and say the current system discourages Americans from voting.

The research also found concerns among Hispanic/Latino voters about the
language barriers they confront when voting. That same group of voters
believes that modernizing current voting systems can increase voter
participation.

Moreover, respondents indicated a strong belief that low turnout of this
kind could have a negative impact on America’s democracy overall.

“The research makes clear that US voters want changes to today’s voting
system,” said Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica. “We found that certain
underlying factors can significantly impact Americans’ experiences at
the polls which in turn influences their perceptions of, and—most
important—their participation in, the democratic process.”

Additional findings showed:

Change is needed

  • The strong majority (81%) of all total respondents felt changes needed
    to be made to the US voter experience and voting system.
  • Regarding solutions for modernizing the voting system, respondents
    were divided among the three related priorities presented, with 33%
    stating that the most needed change is to “incorporate online remote
    voting,” 28% stating that “US voting technology should be updated to
    be ‘user-friendly,’” and 20% believing that “the voting process should
    be made more efficient by reducing the amount of time necessary to
    cast a vote.”

Time inefficiencies are a deterrent

  • One in three (33%) of US registered voters surveyed said there had
    been at least one past election in which they had intended to vote,
    but ultimately did not.
  • 45% of voters who had intended to vote in a past election, but
    ultimately did not, stated that a lack of time was their primary
    reason for not voting. They were either too busy with work, too busy
    with personal commitments, or had gone to the polls to vote but the
    wait was too long.
  • 56% of survey respondents agreed that many people do not vote because
    the voting process is time-consuming and inefficient. Further, 63% of
    the younger generation (respondents aged 18-34), 63% of
    African-Americans, and 60% of Hispanics/Latinos agreed with this same
    statement.

Preferences by age and minority group

  • 56% of Hispanic/Latino voters agreed that many people do not vote
    because of language barriers faced at the polls that discourage them
    from voting.
  • 83% of African-Americans and 76% of Hispanic/Latino voters agreed that
    we need to invest in modernizing the voting system as a way of
    increasing voter participation and thereby strengthening democracy.
  • 60% of respondents overall, and 72% of senior respondents (aged 65 and
    older), stated that low voter turnout affects American democracy in a
    negative way.

Recent studies, such as that
of the Brennan Center
, have shown how the majority of America’s
existing voting machines are dangerously outdated. Aside from creating
the opportunity for fraud or error, many of these machines fail to
address the needs of today’s voters which, as Smartmatic’s research
shows, could lead to disenfranchisement. During his final State of the
Union address, President Obama himself referenced the challenges facing
voters when he called for voting to be made easier, not harder, for all
Americans.

“These findings send a clear message that more can and should be done to
modernize the electoral process,” said Mugica. “If harnessed to its full
effect, technology can transform the voting experience. This research is
a clear call to action and an important contribution to understanding
what this next generation of solutions should be.”

The results of the recent survey, which was conducted by Edelman
Intelligence, can be found here.

About Smartmatic

Founded in the USA in 2000, Smartmatic is the leading provider of voting
technologies and solutions worldwide. Today, out of the eight countries
pioneering election automation Smartmatic provides technology and
services to six of them: Belgium, Brazil, Estonia, the Philippines, USA
and Venezuela. The company has managed elections across five continents,
processing over 2.5 billion votes. It serves customers through an
organization comprising over 600 employees across 12 offices around the
world. Smartmatic is headquartered in London, UK. For more information,
visit www.smartmatic.com

Contacts

Smartmatic
Mrs. Samira Saba, +1-561-862-0747
Marketing and
Communications Director
Communications@smartmatic.com