Nov. 6, 2012, 10:11 p.m.
The U.S. presidential election of 2001 ended in a contentious recount of ballots in the state of Florida. Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore was initially declared as winner of the state, but this was followed by a recount. This tumultuous process, and the elevation of the dispute to the Supreme Court (Bush v. Gore) highlighted the archaic aspects of voter technologies across America. In the aftermath of Florida, MIT and Caltech jointly formed the Voting Technology Project (VTP) in an attempt to understand how voter technology affects the ability of voters to translate their preferences into votes. The project, combining expertise from a variety of interdisciplinary fields ultimately poses the question, "Why do Americans vote this way, and is there a better way to vote?" The most recent findings of the study were released in the following report: Voting: What has Changed, What Hasn't, and What Needs Improvement. Examining how voting technology has evolved since 2000 (and how it hasn't), the report ultimately suggests how states and localities can improve the reliability of election results and minimize lost votes.