The Cost of Voting Technology

Cost information on election administration is challenging to find. However, over the past decade election officials, academics, and advocates have made efforts to quantify the costs of one significant part of elections—voting technology.

Research from California, Maryland, North Carolina, Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Butler County, Ohio, has compared the costs of implementing direct record electronic (DRE) voting machines—most often touch-screen voting systems—versus optical-scan voting technology, where paper ballots are counted by scanning devices. In each case implementing the optical scan technology has been estimated to be less costly.

In 2010, researchers with the Research Triangle Institute found that using optical scan systems could save Maryland nearly $10 million. And in 2005 the Miami-Dade County elections office estimated the county could save more than $13 million over five years by switching from DREs to optical scan technology.

Spotlight on Mental Health

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Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

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How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

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What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.