BUY/READ MY BOOK–The History and Politics of Voting Technology: In Search of Integrity and Public Confidence

Published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2006

Roy G. Saltman, the author, is an independent consultant who previously published two reports on contemporaneous issues in this field for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  His first report for NIST was sponsored by the Congressional agency now called the Government Accountability Office; his second was sponsored by the (private) John and Mary R. Markle Foundation.

Saltman obtained a BEE at RPI in 1953 and an MS in EE at MIT in 1955.  He received the Professional Degree of Electrical Engineer at Columbia U. in 1962 and a master’s degree in public administration from American U. in 1976.  He was enployed by Sperry Gyroscope Co. from 1955 to 1964 and by IBM from 1964 to 1969.  He worked for NIST (formerly called the National Bureau of Standards) from 1969 to 1996, when he retired from fulltime employment.

For a more complete C.V. for Saltman, go to: http://roygsaltman.com/biography/

Synopsis:  The first chapter covers in detail the Florida fiasco of 2000, and then chrono-logically traces the evolution of voting technology, from oral voting in the earliest days of this republic to mark-sense ballots and touch-screens used today.   Systems used at various times in various states included party-specific paper ballots that caused violence at polling stations, all-party paper ballots, lever voting machines that used no ballots, and pre-scored punch-card ballots.   Various types of frauds are discussed.  The tangled responsibilities of the federal government, the 50 state governments and DC, and the numerous local governments are analyzed.  Several relevant federal laws are presented and described.

Chapter Headings:  (1) The 2000 election in Florida:  The Family Secret is Exposed.  (2) From the Revolution to the Civil War;  Consent of the Governed and the Election Clause.  (3) The Late 19th Century:  Struggling With Voting Rights and Election Fraud.  (4)  The Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries: Mechanization and Political Reforms.               (5) The Middle and Late 20th Century:  Movements for Equality, Enfranchisement, and Voting Facilitation.  (6) The Middle and Late 20th Century: Election Administration and Computing Technology.  (7) The Great Awakening After Florida, through July 2005.

Charles Stewart, Massachusetts Institute of Technology:  “This is a must read for those interested in the politics of election reform and in how technology and politics intersect in the United States.”

Richard G. Smolka, Election Administration Reports:  “This work is a major conntribution to current and future debates about how to improve the American electoral system.”

R. Michael Alvarez, Professor of Political Science, Caltech, and Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project:  “Saltman gives us a broad sweeping historical perspective on voting technologies for American voters.  This is going to be an important reference for all interested in improving voting technologies.”

Alexander Keyssar, Harvard University:  “[This book] contains a wealth of informa-tion about voting technology and how it evolved.”

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