Election Systems and Software (ES&S) ExpressVote

ES&S ExpressVote

The ExpressVote is a universal vote capture device with an independent voter-verifiable paper record that is digitally scanned for tabulation by the DS200 or the DS850. This system combines paper-based voting with touch screen technology. The ExpressVote includes a mandatory vote summary screen that requires voters to confirm or revise selections prior to printing the summary of ballot selections using the internal thermal printer. Once printed, ES&S ballot scanners process the vote summary card. The ExpressVote can serve all voters, including those with special needs, allowing voters to cast ballots autonomously. ES&S has fully integrated the ExpressVote with the existing suite of ES&S voting system products. The ExpressVote capture device was certified to the 2005 Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines by the Election Assistance Commission on July 2, 2014 as part of the ES&S EVS voting system. The ExpressVote includes a touchscreen display, an audio-tactile interface, and an integrated card reader and printer. The audio-tactile interface includes three assistive technologies – two  position switches and a keypad. The ExpressVote system was designed to accommodate voters in the general voting population,   including voters with cognitive, dexterity, auditory and visual impairments.

expressvote_frontVoting Process: The ExpressVote is an electronic vote capture device designed for use by all electors. It features a touchscreen display and integrated thermal printer. Voters insert a blank paper activation card in the machine. This is the ballot. Voters have several options to make candidate selections. They may touch the screen or use the moveable keypad provided. The display includes various colors and effects to guide the voter. The voter may adjust the display contrast and text size in order to read the screen. Each key on the pad has both Braille and printed text labels designed to indicate function and a related shape to help the voter determine its use. Alternatively, voters may also use headphones to hear a recorded list of the instructions and candidates for each contest and then make selections by touching the screen, touching the keypad, touching a two-position switch, or through a sip/puff device. The voter may adjust the volume and tempo of the audio. The ExpressVote stores the choices in its internal memory. It can be programmed in multiple languages.

The machine provides a summary report for the voter to review his or her choices before the ballot is printed. Only the voter’s choices are printed on the ballot. The phrase “No Selection” appears under any contest in which the elector did not vote. Overvotes and crossover votes cannot occur on this equipment and a voter is warned about undervotes prior to the completion of voting.

Once the ballot has been marked and is provided to the voter, the ExpressVote clears its internal memory and the paper ballot is the only lasting record of the voting selections made. The voter may visually confirm his or her selections, or the ballot may be re-inserted into the machine and the voter selections summary report will provide an audio summary for voters with visual impairments. The voter proceeds to enter the ballot into the DS200 or a secured ballot box to be hand tabulated by election inspectors after the polls have closed. Ballots marked using the ExpressVote also may be tabulated using the DS850.

A video demonstration prepared for the November 2014 election in Fairfax County VA:

 Another video from Fairfax County VA:

In EVS system, ES&S itroduced the ExpressVote XL, a hybrid paper-based polling place voting device that provides a full-face 32-inch interactive touchscreen vote capture that incorporates the printing of the voter’s selections as a cast vote record, and tabulation scanning into a single unit. Apparently designed for jursidictions with a tradition or requirement for full face ballots,, the screen provides a display of the full ballot. The ExpressVote XL is designed to serve all voters, including those with special needs, allowing voters to cast vote summary cards autonomously. Voters navigate ballot selections using a touchscreen, detachable UVC keyboard or ADA support peripherals, such as a sip and puff device.

The ExpressVote XL guides voters through the ballot selection process with screen prompts, symbols and ballot audio. The voter can print the vote summary card once they are ready to cast their vote. Once printed, the ExpressVote XL internally processes the vote summary card for tabulation. The tabulated vote summary card is deposited into a removable, secure card container attached to the ExpressVote XL cart.

The ExpressVote XL generates a detailed audit log of all actions and events that have occurred on the unit similar to the Real Time Audit Log (RTAL) used with the iVotronic DRE, which can be printed at any time. Every action and event, including access attempts, access of system functions and errors, is logged and timestamped.

Both ExpressVote and the ExpressVote XL can be configured as tabulating devices, at which point they become Direct recording electronic (DRE) voting devices rather than ballot marking devices. In the 2018 General Election, only one jurisdiction in the nation, Johnson County Kansas, used the ExpressVote in this configuration. With the ExpressVote and ExpressVote used as a tabulator can function as a DRE with VVPAT, both systems allow the voter to bypass the verification process and cast the vote (into computer memory) while depositing the paper summary card into the card container (ballot box). See Serious design flaw in ESS ExpressVote touchscreen: “permission to cheat” (Appell, 2018) and Kansas Voting System Would Allow Undetectable Tampering (Cohn, 2018).