Electronic voting has received praise due to the many advantages that it provides in comparison with other voting systems. For instance, an electronic voting system can be involved in any one of a number of steps in the setup, distributing, voting, collecting, and counting of ballots, and therefore may introduce advantages into any of these stages. It has been estimated that one million more ballots were counted in the 2004 United States presidential election than in 2000 because electronic voting machines were able to detect votes that paper-based machines would have missed.
Another benefit of electronic voting is that most ballots will be tabulated into the results. Paper-based voting machines can actually miss ballots due to human mistakes in placing the paper-based ballot in the machine. There is also the ease of tabulating the results. All counting and ordering is performed by a machine, quickly and efficiently, sans human error. Electronic voting machines (EMV’s) also have the advantage of never running short on paper ballots at a polling center, since the computer can count a limitless number of ballots. They also can provide several different languages to voters for whom English is not the first language. There are also advantages when it comes to disabled people, such as blind individuals. EMV’s can provide headphones to read off instructions to blind voters. Additional tools can be incorporated into these voting machines to help with other disabilities and to aid the elderly as well.
In the United States alone, elections involve the hiring of workers to run polling places and count the ballots after polls close. On the other hand, many jurisdictions use expensive electronic voting machines that require periodic software updates and maintenance. However, the initial investment on EMV’s can be justified by the eventual savings om both money and time.