Journal of Intellectual Property Law


Within the past century, electronic voting systems have become common place. Most states hold their elections via electronic voting machines. These voting machines require software, and that software is built out of source code. Most states, including the state of Georgia, use voting machines with proprietary software made by private companies to run their elections. These companies have pushed back against access to the source code of their software because of intellectual property issues related to trade secret and copyright law. Nonetheless, states have an interest in guaranteeing their elections are not vulnerable to attack or hacking, and voters want to feel confident about the election system in their state. One way to instill confidence and ensure secure elections is through state governments and election boards having access to the source code of the software in these machines.

This Note explores the typical technologies involved in electronic voting, the history of electronic voting in the United States, the legislation that other states have passed that have allowed access or limited access to the source code of voting software, the legislation Georgia currently has regarding access to the source code of voting software, and why Georgia should adopt legislation regulating and allowing access to the source code of the voting software used in Georgia’s elections.