Dominion ImageCast Precinct

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Dominion ImageCast The Dominion ImageCast Precinct  (ICP) is a hybrid precinct optical scan paper/DRE ballot counter designed to provide six major functionalities: ballot scanning, second chance voting, accessible voting, ballot review, tabulation, and poll worker functions. For ballot scanning functionality the ICP scans marked paper ballots, interprets voter marks on the paper ballots and stores the ballots for tabulation when the polls are closed.

When an error has been detected on the voter’s paper ballot (e.g., blank ballot, undervoted ballot, overvoted ballot, misread ballot, cross-over voted ballot) the ICP notifies the voter by displaying a message or providing an audio visual cue, that one of these situations has been detected, and offers the voter an opportunity to reject and fix their ballot, or to cast the ballot as-is.

The Ballot Review feature allows a voter to review their vote selections using an audio or visual representation, which displays or presents the voter with a complete listing of all contests contained on the ballot and an indication of the results which will be recorded for each contest once the voter’s ballot is cast.

The Tabulation of paper ballots and Accessible Voting ballots cast by voters is performed when the polls are closed on the ICP unit and the unit tabulates the results, generates results files for aggregation into RTR, and prints a results report containing the results of the ballots cast.

Once the first paper sensor is triggered, indicating a ballot is in the ingress slot, the event loop in the main processor will notify the firmware module responsible for scanning. This module scans the ballot by synchronously using the stepper motor, the remaining paper sensors, and the image sensors. The tabulator scans the ballot with two scan heads: one for the top and one for the bottom. The image sensors provide 1728 pixels per scan line with a resolution of 200 pixels per inch horizontally. Vertically, the stepper motors and transport allow for a resolution of approximately 195 pixels per inch. The scanner driver scans the ballot and puts two images (top and bottom) in SDRAM for processing. This processing consists of the following steps.

• Validating that the images scanned are of a valid ballot, and, if enabled, check for the presence of secure infrared (IR) paper stock elements.
• Determining the ballot barcode and verifying, by referring to the election les, that the ballot scanned should be accepted by the tabulator.
• Determining which voting marks are filled.

Once that ballot has been processed, the results are stored redundantly in two formats on two separate memory cards. If one memory card fails, the machine will shut down to ensure that two functioning cards are always present while the machine is in operation. During this entire process, any ballot processing error or voting errors are reported to the voter, and he/she is given the opportunity to accept or reject the ballot. Before the ballot is dropped into the ballot box, a summary screen displays the machine’s interpretation of the votes on the ballot. The voter is then given the opportunity to verify their ballot.

Audio Voting, AVS Voting, and Ballot Marking Options

The ImageCast Precinct ballot counter also allows a voter to cast a ballot using accessible devices. Through the Audio Tactile Device (ATI) connected to the tabulator, the elector listens to an audio voting session consisting of contest and candidate names. The ATI also allows a voter to adjust the volume and speed of audio playback. Furthermore, the ATI provides voters the opportunity to navigate to the next or previous contest/candidate on the ballot. An elector also has the option to receive visual assistance while voting. A nineteen-inch (19″) LCD touch-screen display provides visual voting information, as well as the ability to change the zoom and contrast levels during ballot presentation.

The audio voting capability of the tabulator allows the voter to listen to and vote for all names on the ballot. Using the audio assisting device (which is connected to the tabulator), the voter listens to an audio voting session. The audio assisting device allows the voter to adjust the volume of the audio, change the speed of the audio playback, jump to the next and go back to the previous name, and to cast a vote. To start an audio voting session, the administrator inserts the iButton security key and selects the appropriate option. Next, the administrator enters the ballot ID of the ballot to be used for voting. Because the tabulator allows paper ballots to be cast during an audio voting session, the audio session takes place on a separate processing thread on the processor. At the end of an audio voting session, a summary of the votes is played back to the voter to allow the voter to verify their selection is correct.

The audio and visual interfaces indicated can be used separately or simultaneously. All voting choices, such as write-in voting and straight party voting, can be made with the ATI. Voters who require alternative input devices do not have to use the ATI. Instead, they can use a sip and pu device or paddle (foot) switches to navigate the ballot and vote during a voting session. Accessible voting sessions begin when the administrator employs the Administrative iButton Security key and initiates a voting session from the Administrative Menu on the device. When prompted, the administrator enters the appropriate ballot ID. The Administrative iButton Security Key can be also be used to cancel a voting session. This may be necessary when a voter needs to restart their voting session to review any applicable instructions.

Voting Process: 

1. The pollworker will give you a ballot specific to your district. The scanner will be able to distinguish what district the ballot is for by the timing marks on the edge of the printed ballot. You may also receive a privacy sleeve.

2. Using the pen provided by the pollworker, fill in the oval completely to indicate your selections.

3. The voting booth has four sections, allowing for up to four voters to sign in at a time. The lower section is wheelchair accessible.

4. When you have finished marking selections and reviewing your ballot, insert the completed ballot into the ImageCast scanner. If the ballot has been completely voted and the ovals are filled in correctly, the scanner will automatically cast the ballot.

5. While the scanner will notify you if you have over-voted, it will accept under-votes when all the contests or ballot questions have not been voted on. If there are ballot discrepancies, or the scanner can not read the ballot, the LCD screen will alert you to the error and/or the ballot will be returned.

 A Voting Demo produced by Warren County NY:

 A Demo of Poll Opening and Closing:

Security Concerns

Security Seals  The ImageCast ‘s exposed ports, memory card access areas, ballot box doors and case seams should be covered with tamper-evident security seals. The integrity of these seals should be maintained at all times, and only breached under controlled, explained circumstances.

Ballot Box Access The ImageCast scanner has one ballot box with separate sections, one which receives ballots containing write-in votes. Each ballot box should be inspected by poll workers at the beginning of voting to make sure that they are empty. These ballot boxes should be locked and/or be sealed with tamper-evident tape and appropriate entries made in chain of custody logs.

Memory Cards are Sensitive Corrupt memory cards may introduce viruses, cause the scanner of main election server to crash, cause other problems that can result in incorrect vote tallies. Access to the memory card should be controlled, monitored and logged at all times. Tamper evident seals should cover access to memory cards and other ports, with entries recording the seal numbers made in chain of custody logs whenever seals are removed or reattached.

Correct Inks for Marking Ballots Some Optical Scan systems have trouble reading red inks or inks with red in them. Voters should only use the writing instrument provided at the polling place.