Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)

1. A paper document that the voter can review before officially casting their ballot.

Source: Election Terminology Glossary - Draft, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST),

2. A contemporaneous paper-based printout of voter choices on a DRE [Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine].

Source: Information Technology Terminology, U.S. Election Assistance Commission,; The State and Local Election Cybersecurity Playbook, Defending Digital Democracy Project, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs,

3. A method of providing feedback to voters on how they voted using a ballot-less voting system.

Source: 2018 Risk Limiting Audit Pilot Project Report, Orange County Registrar of Voters,

4. A physical paper record of voter ballots as voter have cast them on an electronic voting system that the voter may verify corresponds to his or her intent in casting those votes.

Source: Asking the Right Questions about Electronic Voting , National Research Council on the National Academies,

5. Voter-verifiable paper audit trails or records are the paper trails contemporaneously printed by DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) voting machines that display to the voter a hard copy record of the voter’s selections. Sighted voters may use the paper records to verify that the machine correctly recorded a hard copy of his or her selections before casting the ballot. In some states, the voter-verifiable paper record is the legal ballot in a recount situation (e.g., California), taking precedence over electronic counts. Visually impaired voters currently cannot verify a hard copy of their votes when VVPATs are used. VVPAT printers do not currently include optical character recognition (OCR) readouts or other means of non-visual verification of the information printed on the VVPAT. The only way a visually impaired voter can currently verify a paper copy of the ballot through the use of technology, which allows such a voter to vote privately and independently, is by using an accessible ballot marking device to mark the ballot that also enables audio read-back of the voter’s choices from the printed or marked ballot.

Source: COUNTING VOTES 2012: A State by State Look at Voting Technology Preparedness, Verified Voting Foundation, Rutgers School of Law - Newark Constitutional Litigation Clinic & Common Cause Education Fund,

6. Hardware, added to an existing DRE voting machine [Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine], that provides a physical record of a voter’s electronic selection.

Source: U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission, March 2020,