Ballot Now is Hart Intercivic’s software for printing paper ballots on-demand and scanning in and resolving batches of voted paper ballots. The Ballot Now system is most often used for tabulating absentee ballots, though in some central count jurisdictions is is used to tabulate polling place ballots cast by voters in ballot boxes. Ballot Now, like other applications in the Hart EMS suite of software, runs on a Windows 2000 Professional machine. It works with a variety of third-party scanners, for example the Fujitsu M4099D and Kodak i830 pictured above. Ballot Now can be run on a stand-alone machine or in a networked, client/server configuration. Users must configure network certificates to run Ballot Now in a networked configuration. If run in networked configuration, the eCM must be present on the Ballot Now server. If run in standalone configuration, the eCM must be present on the standalone Ballot Now machine.
After defining an election database in BOSS, Ballot Now initializes an election MBB and creates a Ballot Now election database (stored in a unique folder for that election, in the file “ballotNow.db”). Ballot Now’s central features are (1) to print sample, test, and election ballots, either for third-party printing or on demand; and (2) to scan paper ballots (using the “Ballot Now Image Processor”, or BNIP); and (3) resolve undervoted, overvoted, and/or write-in contests. Results from scanned and resolved ballots are written to an election MBB, and after processing is done, the Ballot Now user closes the MBB using a “close MBB” function in the software. Ballot Now produces several types of audit logs—the Election Database Audit Log; the Security Database Audit Log; the Filtered Election Database Audit Log; and the Filtered Security Database Audit Log.
Polling Place Voting Process for the Hart Ballot Now System
1. Receive your ballot from a poll worker and proceed to your voting booth.
2. Using a blue or black pen fill in the box to the left of your choice completely as shown on the right.
3. To vote for a write-in candidate, fill in the box completely next to the words “Write-In” and write the candidate’s name on the line provided. Do not mark more choices than allowed.
4. If you make a mistake, ask an election officer for a new ballot. (The old ballot will be voided.)
5. Deposit your ballot in the ballot box.
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.