Non-profit

Voting Works

Website:

voting.works

Location:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Tax ID:

83-2910494

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Type:

Center-Left Election Reform Advocacy Group

VotingWorks is a left-of-center non-profit provider of voting machines and open-source election verification software. In November 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it would partner with VotingWorks to pilot the use of its vote verification software in six battleground states during the November 2020 election. In April 2020, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, VotingWorks announced it would be providing technological assistance to states and local jurisdictions seeking to scale-up voting by mail opportunities. [1] [2]

Voting works was created within and incubated by the left-leaning Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT). [3] [4] CDT’s major donors include large left-of-center foundations, including George Soros’s Foundation to Promote Open Society, the Ford Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. [5] [6]

Background

VotingWorks was created within and incubated by the left-leaning Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) in December 2018 and later and spun off as a separate non-profit. [7] [8] CDT’s major donors are large technology firms, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft; and large left-of-center foundations, including George Soros’s Foundation to Promote Open Society, the Ford Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. [9] [10]

VotingWorks builds voting machines and audit software tools to intended to verify that votes cast on a paper-based voting system are correctly tabulated. [11] It publishes some of the code it writes on GitHub, a Microsoft subsidiary that hosts and promotes open-source software. [12]

One of these tools is Arlo, an open-source software designed to perform a risk-limiting audit after an election is completed. A risk limiting audit spot checks a sample of verified paper ballots against the results tabulated by electronic voting machines to verify the sample was counted accurately. In November 2019 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it would partner with VotingWorks to pilot the use of Arlo in six battleground states during the November 2020 election. [13] [14]

In 2019, VotingWorks ran polling machines in Choctaw County, Mississippi. Mississippi is one of the few states that uses voting machines that have not been certified by federally authorities, and has no method for state certification. A report from ProPublica portrayed the lack of federal certification as an advantage for VotingWorks:[15]

For VotingWorks and the election officials in Mississippi, the fact that the machines had not been federally certified was a plus, not a risk. Set up nearly two decades ago to try and improve the reliability of voting systems, the federal certification process is today seen by many as an impediment to the kind of technological progress urgently needed in the field.

The process — overseen by the federal Election Assistance Commission — is both lengthy and costly. And the long track record over the years of election scandals and controversies makes clear it hasn’t been all that effective. [16]

2020 Vote By Mail Work

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, VotingWorks announced it would be helping states scale-up voting by mail. An April 2020 news release announced VotingWorks was building VxMail, a set of tools to help implement and deploy vote-by mail with services such as ballot printing, envelope stuffing, mailing, ballot receipt, signature verification, and ballot tabulation.VxMail is designed to assist jurisdictions that previously had only a few hundred ballots to deal with manually, but now may have thousands or tens of thousands. [17]

References

  1. Johnson, Derek B. “CISA rolls out post-election audit tool for 2020.” Federal Computer Week. November 22, 2019. Accessed May 28, 2020. https://fcw.com/articles/2019/11/22/cisa-arlo-johnson.aspx  ^
  2. “COVID-19: VotingWorks Will Help States Scale Vote-by-Mail.” VotingWorks. Accessed May 14, 2020. https://votingworks/covid/. ^
  3. Hall, Joseph Lorenzo. “Introducing VotingWorks, Improving Voting Systems through Public Work.” Center for Democracy and Technology. December 5, 2018. Accessed May 28, 2020. https://cdt.org/insights/votingworks-announcement/ ^
  4. Adida, Ben. “VotingWorks Partners with the Center for Democracy and Technology.” Center for Democracy and Technology. December 5, 2018. Accessed May 28, 2020. https://voting.works/news/2018/12/votingworks-and-cdt/  ^
  5. Center for Democracy and Technology, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Schedule B. ^
  6. “Center for Democracy and Technology.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed May 28, 2020. https://www.macfound.org/grantees/1043/ ^
  7. Hall, Joseph Lorenzo. “Introducing VotingWorks, Improving Voting Systems through Public Work.” Center for Democracy and Technology. December 5, 2018. Accessed May 28, 2020. https://cdt.org/insights/votingworks-announcement/ ^
  8. Adida, Ben. “VotingWorks Partners with the Center for Democracy and Technology.” Center for Democracy and Technology. December 5, 2018. Accessed May 28, 2020. https://voting.works/news/2018/12/votingworks-and-cdt/  ^
  9. Center for Democracy and Technology, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Schedule B. ^
  10. “Center for Democracy and Technology.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed May 28, 2020. https://www.macfound.org/grantees/1043/ ^
  11. “VotingWorks.” VotingWorks. Accessed May 14, 2020. https://voting.works/. ^
  12. “VotingWorks.” GitHub. Accessed May 14, 2020. https://github.com/votingworks. ^
  13. “Risk-Limiting Audits with Arlo.” VotingWorks. Accessed May 14, 2020. https://voting.works/risk-limiting-audits/. ^
  14. Johnson, Derek B. “CISA rolls out post-election audit tool for 2020.” Federal Computer Week. November 22, 2019. Accessed May 28, 2020. https://fcw.com/articles/2019/11/22/cisa-arlo-johnson.aspx  ^
  15. Huseman, Jessica. “The Way America Votes Is Broken. In One Rural County, a Nonprofit Showed a Way Forward.” ProPublica. Accessed May 14, 2020. https://www.propublica.org/article/the-way-america-votes-is-broken-in-one-rural-county-a-nonprofit-showed-a-way-forward. ^
  16. Huseman, Jessica. “The Way America Votes Is Broken. In One Rural County, a Nonprofit Showed a Way Forward.” ProPublica. Accessed May 14, 2020. https://www.propublica.org/article/the-way-america-votes-is-broken-in-one-rural-county-a-nonprofit-showed-a-way-forward. ^
  17. “COVID-19: VotingWorks Will Help States Scale Vote-by-Mail.” VotingWorks. Accessed May 14, 2020. https://votingworks/covid/. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: September - August
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 2019

  • Available Filings

    No filings available.

    Voting Works

    135 MAIN ST FL 20
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94105-1854