Which States Use Electronic Voting?

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Electronic voting is used throughout the United States, but the type of electronic voting, and the way it is implemented, varies a great deal. Elections are governed by both Federal and State laws, but they are carried out at the local level, so there can even be a great deal of variation within a single state.

Electronic Voting: Optical Scan and Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Machines

Every single state in the United States uses some form of electronic voting, but only a few have completely done away with paper ballots. Of the vast majority of states that use some type of electronic voting, they are split between states that use only optical voting machines and states that use a mixture of both optical scan and DRE voting machines.

Optical voting machines use paper ballots. If your states uses these, you fill out a paper ballot either at home, if voting absentee, or at a polling place. The ballot is then scanned and tabulated electronically. The ballot is typically retained after scanning in case verification or a recount is required.

Direct recording electronic voting machines do not use paper ballots. If your state uses these, you input your choices directly into the voting machine. Some of these machines create a physical paper trail that you can verify, and others don't.

Some states also count paper ballots manually, but there are no states that use this method exclusively.

States with only optical scan voting machines:

Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C.

States with both optical scan and DRE voting machines:

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

States with only DRE voting machines:

Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey, South Carolina

Alabama

Alabama does use electronic voting, but it is one of the states that uses no DRE voting machines at all. All ballots are paper, and they are either scanned or counted by hand. Recounts are performed by hand.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, optical scan
  • DRE with paper trail: No
  • DRE without paper trail: No
  • Voter information: Albama Secretary of State

Alaska

Alaska uses a mixture of hand-counted paper ballots and paper ballots that are scanned for electronic tabulation. Some precincts also use DRE machines that include a paper trail.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, hand counted and optical scan
  • DRE with paper trail: Yes
  • DRE without paper trail: No
  • Voter information: Alaska Division of Elections

Arizona

Arizona uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. The paper ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation, and the DRE machines all include voter-verifiable paper trails.

Arkansas

Arkansas uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. For early voting and election day voting, all paper ballots are tabulated electronically using optical scan machines. Absentee votes are cast using paper ballots that can be counted by hand or scanned for electronic tabulation. Some precincts with DRE voting machines include a voter-verifiable paper trail and others don't.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, hand counted and optical scan
  • DRE with paper trail: Yes
  • DRE without paper trail: Yes
  • Voter information: Arkansas Secretary of State

California

California uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. All of the paper ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation, including absentee ballots. Some precincts only allow voting by mail, and those votes are also scanned for electronic tabulation. Precincts that use DRE voting machines all feature voter-verifiable paper trails.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, optical scan and vote by mail
  • DRE with paper trail: Yes
  • DRE without paper trail: No
  • Voter information: California Secretary of State

Colorado

Colorado elections take place entirely through the US mail. Votes are cast using paper ballots that are scanned for electronic tabulation.

Connecticut

Connecticut uses paper ballots exclusively. Both absentee ballots and votes cast on election day are scanned for electronic tabulation. No DRE machines are employed.

Delaware

Delaware uses both DRE voting machines and paper ballots that are scanned for electronic tabulation. Votes cast on election day use DRE machines exclusively, and there is no voter-verifiable paper trail. Absentee ballots are cast using paper ballots that are read and counted via optical scanners.

Florida

Florida uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. Paper ballots are read and tabulated using optical scanners, and the DRE machines do not include voter-verifiable paper trails.

Georgia

Georgia uses DRE voting machines without voter-verifiable paper trails for early voting and election day voting. Absentee votes are cast via paper ballots that are read and tabulated using optical scanners.

Hawaii

Hawaii uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. The paper ballots are read and tabulated by optical scanners, and the DRE voting machines include voter-verifiable paper trails. Absentee votes are cast via paper ballots that are read by optical scanners.

Idaho

Idaho primarily uses paper ballots, but some precincts feature DRE voting machines. The paper ballots may be counted by hand or read by optical scanners. The DRE machines include voter-verifiable paper trails.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, optical scan and manual count
  • DRE with paper trail: Yes
  • DRE without paper trail: No
  • Voter information: Idaho Secretary of State

Illinois

Illinois uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. The paper ballots are all read and tabulated by optical scanners, and the DRE machines all include voter-verifiable paper trails.

Indiana

Indiana uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. Paper ballots that are cast on election day are counted via optical scanners, and absentee ballots are counted by hand. Precincts that use DRE voting machines do not have voter-verifiable paper trails in place.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, optical scan and manual count
  • DRE with paper trail: No
  • DRE without paper trail: Yes
  • Voter information: Indiana Election Division

Iowa

Iowa uses paper ballots throughout the state. Ballots are counted via optical scan regardless of whether they are cast on election day or absentee.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, optical scan
  • DRE with paper trail: No
  • DRE without paper trail: No
  • Voter information: Iowa Secretary of State

Kansas

Kansas uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. Paper ballots may be read and tabulated via optical scanners or counted by hand. Some precincts with DRE machines have voter-verifiable paper trails, and others don't.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, optical scan and manual count
  • DRE with paper trail: Yes
  • DRE without paper trail: Yes
  • Voter information: Kansas Secretary of State

Kentucky

Kentucky uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. Paper ballots are all counted via optical scanners, and none of the DRE machines feature voter-verifiable paper trails.

Louisiana

Louisiana uses DRE voting machines in all precincts, and voter-verifiable paper trails are not available. Absentee votes are cast via paper ballots and counted by optical scan.

Maine

Maine uses paper ballots throughout the state. Votes may be counted by hand or scanned for electronic tabulation depending on the precinct.

Maryland

Maryland uses paper ballots throughout the state. Ballots are scanned and counted electronically in all precincts.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts uses paper ballots throughout the state. Votes may be counted by hand or scanned for electronic tabulation depending on the precinct.

Michigan

Michigan uses paper ballots throughout the state. Ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation in all precincts.

Minnesota

Minnesota uses paper ballots throughout the state. Optical scan machines are used in all precincts to tabulate votes electronically.

Mississippi

Mississippi uses both paper ballots and DRE voting machines. The paper ballots are all scanned for electronic tabulation. Some precincts with DRE machines offer voter-verifiable paper trails, and others don't.

Missouri

Missouri uses both paper ballots and DRE voting machines. Paper ballots are all counted via optical scan machines. Some DRE voting machines include paper trails, and others don't.

Montana

Montana uses paper ballots throughout the state. Ballots may be counted by hand or scanned for electronic tabulation.

Nebraska

Nebraska uses paper ballots throughout the state. Ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation regardless of whether they are cast on election day or absentee.

Nevada

Nevada uses DRE voting machines with voter-verifiable paper trails throughout the state. Optical scan paper ballots are used for all absentee voting and some early voting.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, optical scan
  • DRE with paper trail: Yes
  • DRE without paper trail: No
  • Voter information: Nevada Secretary of State

New Hampshire

New Hampshire uses paper ballots throughout the state. Ballots may be counted by hand or scanned for electronic tabulation.

New Jersey

New Jersey uses DRE voting machines without voter-verifiable paper trails throughout the state. Absentee ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation.

New Mexico

New Mexico uses paper ballots throughout the state. Ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation.

New York

New York uses paper ballots throughout the state. Ballots cast on election day are scanned for electronic tabulation. Absentee ballots may be scanned or counted by hand.

North Carolina

North Carolina uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. Paper ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation, and voter-verifiable paper trails are available in all precincts that feature DRE machines.

North Dakota

North Dakota uses paper ballots throughout the state. Some precincts have polling places for election day voting, and some precincts only allow votes to be cast via the US mail. All ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation.

Ohio

Ohio uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. Paper ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation, and precincts with DRE machines all offer voter-verifiable paper trails.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, optical scan
  • DRE with paper trail: Yes
  • DRE without paper trail: No
  • Voter information: Ohio Secretary of State

Oklahoma

Oklahoma uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. Paper ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation. Precincts that have DRE voting machines do not offer voter-verifiable paper trails.

Oregon

Oregon uses paper ballots throughout the state, and ballots are cast exclusively via the mail. Ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, all vote by mail.
  • DRE with paper trail: No
  • DRE without paper trail: No
  • Voter information: Oregon Secretary of State

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania uses paper ballots throughout the state. Paper ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation. Precincts that feature DRE voting machines do not offer voter-verifiable paper trails.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island uses paper ballots throughout the state. Ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation.

South Carolina

South Carolina uses DRE voting machines without voter-verifiable paper trails throughout the state. Absentee voting uses paper ballots that are counted via optical scan.

South Dakota

South Dakota uses paper ballots throughout the state. Ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation.

Tennessee

Tennessee uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. Paper ballots are counted via optical scan, and precincts with DRE voting machines do not offer voter-verifiable paper trails. Absentee ballots may be counted by hand or scanned for electronic tabulation.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, optical scan and manual count
  • DRE with paper trail: No
  • DRE without paper trail: Yes
  • Voter information: Tennessee Secretary of State

Texas

Texas uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. Paper ballots cast on election day are scanned for electronic tabulation, and absentee ballots may be scanned or counted manually. Precincts that have DRE voting machines do not offer voter-verifiable paper trails.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, optical scan and manual count
  • DRE with paper trail: No
  • DRE without paper trail: Yes
  • Voter information: Texas Secretary of State

Utah

Utah uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. Some precincts offer paper ballots at physical polling places on election day, and others require voters to mail their ballots. Paper ballots are all scanned for electronic tabulation. DRE machines all have voter-verifiable paper trails.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, optical scan
  • DRE with paper trail: Yes
  • DRE without paper trail: No
  • Voter information: Utah Lieutenant Governor

Vermont

Vermont uses paper ballots throughout the state. Ballots may be scanned for electronic tabulation or counted by hand.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, optical scan and manual count
  • DRE with paper trail: No
  • DRE without paper trail: No
  • Voter information: Vermont Secretary of State

Virginia

Virgina uses paper ballots throughout the state. Paper ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation.

Washington

Washington does not use physical polling places. All voting is accomplished through the mail. Paper ballots are mailed in by voters and scanned for electronic tabulation.

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. uses paper ballots exclusively. Ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation.

West Virginia

West Virginia uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. Paper ballots may be counted by hand or scanned for electronic tabulation. DRE machines are equipped with voter-verifiable paper trails.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. Paper ballots may be counted by hand or scanned for electronic tabulation. Where DRE machines are available, voter-verifiable paper trails are in place.

  • Paper ballots: Yes, optical scan and manual count
  • DRE with paper trail: Yes
  • DRE without paper trail: No
  • Voter information: Wisconsin Elections Commission

Wyoming

Wyoming uses a mixture of paper ballots and DRE voting machines. Paper ballots are scanned for electronic tabulation, and DRE voting machines are equipped with voter-verifiable paper trails.