Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative and OSET Institute Release New Study on the State of U.S. Voting Machines and Elections Technology Industry

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Philadelphia, PA—March 15, 2017—The Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania and the OSET Institute announce the release today of a new study that provides a comprehensive business analysis of the structure and outlook of the voting machine industry. Given the questions of election integrity that arose during the 2016 election cycle, the study provides some insights into what is needed to innovate the industry which can help improve the security, accuracy, and reliability of the nation’s election machinery.

As several news outlets have reported in the past eighteen months, there is an “impending crisis” in the nation’s voting machines. The vast majority of voting systems on which the U.S. depends for the integrity of its electoral process are reaching the end of their useful life and are increasingly in disrepair. During the 2016 election cycle, citizens in communities without an ample number of working voting machines had to wait for hours in voting lines—or, worse, were not able to wait out the lines in order to cast their ballots. Moreover, many who did vote lacked confidence in the process. Research indicates that one in three Americans who voted in the 2016 presidential contest had concerns about the accuracy of the voting technology used at their polling place, and nearly 80 percent of surveyed voters want to see the U.S. upgrade its election systems. Innovation in development of more reliable, secure, and cost-effective voting solutions, however, has proven elusive.

Much has been written already to inform public policy and assist elections officials in addressing this impending crisis. But what is missing—and what the new Wharton-OSET study provides—is a better understanding, from a business perspective, of what the election technology industry looks like, and what has prevented it from enjoying the robust level of innovation seen in other technology sectors. The Wharton-OSET industry report will help policymakers, investors, philanthropists, industry participants, and elections administrators recognize the economic opportunities and constraints for improving America’s elections infrastructure and ensuring that every person’s vote can be efficiently cast and correctly counted.

The full report is available here: 

About The Wharton School
Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduateMBAexecutive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 95,000 graduates.

About the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative
The Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative (PPI), headquartered at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, is a hub for public policy research and education with one overarching goal: to leverage the University’s resources to foster better-informed policymaking at the federal level on issues related to business and the economy. To that end, Penn Wharton PPI delivers independent, practical, timely, and nonpartisan policy briefs— authored and reviewed by our own Faculty Affiliates — to government decision-makers and their staffers. At the same time, the Initiative operates on Penn’s campus to offer students new academic and co-curricular opportunities to explore and understand the complex interrelationship between business and public policy. Altogether, Penn Wharton PPI’s activities foster a public policy “community of interest” at the University while building vital new bridges between academia, business, and government in Washington, DC. For more information, visit

About the OSET Institute
The Open Source Election Technology (“OSET”) Institute is a 10-year old tax-exempt 501.c.3 non-profit election technology research organization based in the Silicon Valley.  OSET is led by a team of social entrepreneurs comprised of seasoned technologists with extensive hardware, software, and systems design experience from well-known Tech Sector companies including Apple, Netscape, Facebook, and Sun Microsystems.  OSET research is focused on how to make election technology more verifiable, accurate, secure, and transparent.  Research is based on open source principles in order to treat this technology as an imperative publicly available asset

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