New Election Technology

Voting machines are usually something the average citizen thinks about every two years.  Ever since the controversy surrounding the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, they’ve certainly had more of a place in the public eye.  After the country was inundated with new terms like ‘hanging chads,’ the Help America Vote Act was passed in 2002 which was implemented to provide assistance with voting and replace the outdated methods being used in many places.

Just because the act was passed, though, doesn’t mean all counties have moved quickly to update their voting machines.  Sonoma County, CA is just now moving to update machines that are 35 years old.  There are major concerns with these outdated machines, including the fact that the software in them is no longer supported and that repairs on the machines has become untenable as parts can be no longer available.

Many counties have been hesitant to replace paper ballots for fear of them being hacked, but are still embracing technology to speed up voter identification and registration processes.  Devices known as Poll Pads can quickly read a driver’s license, determine if a resident is at the correct polling place, and quickly move them to register to vote or fill out their ballot.  These devices are becoming commonplace, as the installation of them in Marion County, MO is one of the last for counties their size.

Sonoma County and also Lee County, MO are sticking with paper ballots for their new systems.  While Sonoma is exploring the option of having an entirely mail in election, Lee County is replacing their voting machines with new scanning machines which will insert various checks and balances, but will still be familiar to voters.  The new checks will inform voters about things like whether they’ve skipped a race and will allow them to remark their ballot.

Numerous states and counties are trying to ramp up election security ahead of the 2018 midterm elections outside of just new polling machines, which should be a comfort across both sides of the aisle.  While Extract isn’t out to change the way people vote, we place a great deal of importance on ensuring peoples’ private data stays private.  We work with state and local governments to redact sensitive information before it’s released to the public and before it can be reached by anyone with malicious intent.

If you’d like to learn more about our redaction services, please send us a note today.


Chris is a Marketing Manager at Extract with experience in product development, data analysis, and both traditional and digital marketing.  Chris received his bachelor's degree in English from Bucknell University and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.  A passionate marketer, Chris strives to make complex ideas more accessible to those around him in a compelling way.