Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

John J. Pitney, Jr.

Reader 2

Rick Worthington

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© 2014 Andor Kesselman


Direct Recording Electronic Voting Systems (DRE) are some of the most popular forms of electronic voting and yet they are riddled with problems. Current voting systems are poorly designed and migration to newer software can be costly. Inadequate software solutions in voting systems have led to security flaws, bad tabulation, and partisan software design. As government proceeds into an increasingly sophisticated era of voting technology, it needs to consider a better platform. This thesis explores the government procurement strategy associated with modern Direct Recording Electronic Voting Systems. The thesis argues that governments should adopt an open source solution (OSS) for future IT acquisition of voting systems. Adopting an open source solution not only provides practical advantages such as better software design, cheaper implementation, and avoidance of vendor lock-in, but also proposes that OSS provides a strong foundation for future IT policy. Open source’s strength in transparency provides a key factor in voting system design. The thesis recommends that governments adopt a four part strategy for future OSS adoption with voting system.

1) Approve an independent, pro-OSS certification organization that works closely with the U.S Election Assistance Commission, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and other system organizations to create the optimal voting systems guidelines.

2) Update FAR requirements to greater accommodate open source procurement policy.

3) Assist local and state jurisdictions to acquire OSS for DRE machines.

4) Promote open source business strategy by hiring vendors for system integration and analysis

This thesis contends that these four policies will improve the electronic voting experience and allow for better future innovation and adoption IT strategies.