VTP report on voter authentication and registration

Last fall, the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project (VTP) sponsored a two-day conference on voter authentication and registration. This morning, we have released a report on the conference. The report contains a summary of the conference, but more important, it also contains a series of recommendations in nine specific areas:

  1. Data and metrics: standards for reporting election administration data; historical and contemporary research on voter authentication and registration procedures in the United States and abroad.
  2. Communication: academics, vendors and election officials should seek out ways to develop collaborative research efforts and to build better methods of communication about research questions and results; academics need to work to develop an “election science” discipline.
  3. Standards: we need more research on voter authentication systems, as well as the development of standards for both voter authentication and statewide voter registration systems.
  4. Interoperability: we need more research on voting system interoperability; we need the development of standards for data transactions.
  5. Transparency: we need easy-to-use systems for voters to check their registration status; we also need the development of best practices for voter registration transparency.
  6. Fraud: research, research, research (and the development of reporting standards so that we have real data in the future on allegations of fraud, and how those allegations were resolved).
  7. Research and development: we need more money, from both the public and private sector, to fuel additional research and technology development efforts regarding voter registration and authentication.

These proposals are discussed in detail in the report. Thanks to all of the conference participants who devoted their time, effort and ideas to this project.