Election Systems and Software (ES&S) DS850 & DS450

The DS850 is a high-speed, digital scan ballot tabulator designed for use by election officials at a central count facility. The DS850 can scan and count up to 300 ballots per minute. It uses digital cameras and imaging systems to read the front and back of each ballot, evaluate the result, and sort each ballot into the appropriate tray based on the result to maintain continuous scanning and tabulating. Multiple criteria can be used to segregate ballots for review, including overvotes, crossover votes and blank ballots. Depending on the situation, ballots segregated in this fashion may not be counted and may need to be remade by the election inspectors.

Election officials use a 14-inch touchscreen display to program these features of the DS850. While processing ballots, the DS850 prints a continuous audit log to a dedicated audit log printer. Reports are printed from a second connected printer. The DS850 saves voter selections and ballot images to an internal hard disk and exports results to a USB flash drive for processing with the Election Reporting Manager (ERM).

In 2016, with EVS 5.2.2.0, ES&S introduced the DS450, a mid-range digital scan ballot tabulator designed for use as a central count scanner by medium-size jurisdictions the same functionality as the DS850. While the DS850 scans 300 ballots per minute, with 3 output bins for sorting physical ballots, the DS450 scans 75 ballots per minute with the same real time sorting functionality as the DS850. The DS450 can accommodate a variety of different length ballots and can process between 60 and 90 ballots per minute, depending on the size of the ballot. The DS450 uses technology similar to the DS200 to image both sides of the ballot and identify properly marked votes.

While processing ballots, the DS450 prints a continuous audit log to a dedicated audit log printer. Reports are printed from a second printer. The DS450 saves voter selections and ballot images to an internal hard disk and exports results to a USB flash drive for processing with the Election Reporting Manager (ERM). The DS450 has some additional features including LED lights on the outstack bins that can offer a visual cue to central counting station personnel when a certain ballots need to be adjudicated or rescanned for various purposes. The DS450 is capable of scanning both traditional paper ballots and the cast vote records generated by the ExpressVote and ExpressVote XL.

ESS_Opscan_Instruction_GraphicPolling Place Voting Instructions

1. A poll worker will issue a paper ballot and direct you to a voting booth.

2. To select your candidate, use a pen to fill in the oval beside the candidate’s name you wish to choose.

3. After completing your ballot, check over each race to make sure you have marked the ballot as you intended. If you make a mistake, simply ask the poll worker for another ballot.

4. When finished making your choices, place your ballot in the ballot box. All ballots in your county will be counted at a central location after the polls close. Because your ballot is counted after you leave the polling place, you will not be alerted of any over-votes or under-votes.

IMPORTANT Over-Votes: If a voter casts votes for more than the allowable number of candidates in a contest or cast votes for and against an issue in a contest. Over-voted races cannot be counted. In jurisdiction using a central count voting method there is no way for a voter to be notified of an overvote so be very careful to vote for only the allowable number of candidates in any contest (in most cases one). If you do accidentally over-vote and you have not put your ballot into the ballot box, you can request a new ballot from an election official. You will be asked to sign a Spoiled Ballot Affidavit. You may “spoil” up to two ballots and receive another (three ballots total). Once you drop your ballot in the ballot box, no changes can be made.

An ES&S Demonstration Video of the DS850 can be viewed here.