Voters have more confidence in paperless, touch screen systems to record their votes accurately than they do any other systems, including ones that use paper ballots, a new study says.

Voters tend to focus more on what affects their voting experience than the potential for fraud, which is the opposite of what is valued by many computer scientists and voting activists and a growing number of election administration officials, according to new research by the University of Michigan, University of Maryland and University of Rochester.

The research is the first known study to examine how voters respond to the new voting equipment since the 2000 presidential election that incorporates the principles of usability from studies of human-computer interaction research.

"Casting a ballot may seem simple, but the interactions between voters and voting system interfaces are complex," said Michael Traugott, a professor of communication studies and senior research scientist at U-M's Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research (ISR). "The more effort involved in voting, the less satisfied voters are with the experience."

The article appears in the January 14, 2008 issue of the University of Michigan News Service.