Microvote Infinity

The Microvote Infinity is a direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machine with a push button interface. The Infinity Voting Panel consists of a monochrome LCD display, with selection buttons for 32 locations. In voting mode the display is organized as a two-column ballot with 15 selection locations (buttons) on each side of the display. A 16th location button, at the bottom of each column, is used for backwards and forward page navigation. After a voter has completed and reviewed all selections, they submit their  vote by selecting the “Cast Vote” button. Lights associated with this button identify when it is active. Capabilities include the system security, system readiness, poll opening, voting, poll closing, report printing and extraction of results.

The Infinity Voting Panel presents a visual ballot on an LCD panel with a text-to-speech voice synthesized audio ballot option. Non-electronic methods, such as mouth sticks, head sticks or the foot are used to provide non-manual vote entry. Voters record a candidate or referendum selection by pushing a button mapped to a selection location. Access to poll worker administrative functions is controlled by smart card insertion (Start and Tally cards) and password entry. Access to a voting session is performed by the poll worker via smart card insertion (Vote and N Vote cards).

The MicroVote EMS voting system consists of the EMS software, a ballot preparation and central count software application developed by MicroVote General Corporation; the Infinity Voting Panel, a DRE polling place device manufactured by Carson Manufacturing with audio ballot capabilities provided by the DoubleTalk, a text-to-speech audio device manufactured by RC Systems; and the Chatsworth ACP2200 OMR scanner, manufactured by Chatsworth Data Corporation. The EMS software Ballot Preparation functionality includes the Installation Database and the Election Database. In order to modify these databases the user selects either the Installation or Election mode.  Election Databases can be created from either mode. The Installation Database contains standard data that is unlikely to change from election-to-election. The Election Database contains data for one specific election. The standard default data is generated by the Installation Database. These standard defaults can be used or overwritten for a specific election in the Election Database.

The EMS software Central Count functionality supports vote capture and tabulation of paper ballots (standard data cards) read by the Chatsworth central count dual sided ACP2200 OMR scanner. This software consolidates and reports Infinity Voting Panel and optical scan election results. Election Summary, Precinct Summary and Audit Log reports can be displayed and printed.

MicroVote InfinityVoting Process: The voter makes each candidate selection by pressing the gray button beside a candidate’s name. An “X” will then appear next to the candidate’s name. If the voter wishes to change her selection, she presses the button next to the candidate’s name a second time, which de-selects the candidate.  The voter navigates through the ballot by pressing a “Next Page” button on the lower right of the display panel, and can review her ballot by pressing a “Previous Page” button on the lower left of the panel. To cast a write-in vote, the voter presses the gray write-in selection button, and then presses the buttons next to the letters in the candidate’s name. When the voter is ready to cast her vote, she presses a red “Cast Vote” button on the right side of the display panel.

If a voter is using a wheelchair or does not believe she will be able to stand at the machine long enough to complete the voting process, the Infinity display panel can detatch, and the voter can hold the panel in her lap.  For voters with vision disabilities, the Infinity has an audio functionality called DoubleTalk. The DoubleTalk module is connected to the Infinity’s communications port before the pollworker inserts the voter card. A voter may bring her own headphones to use, or use the  headphones supplied with the DoubleTalk module. The DoubleTalk module will instruct the voter on how to navigate through her ballot using the same buttons used by all voters.

A Voting Demonstration Video for the MicroVote Infinity can be viewed here.

A Pollworker Training Video for the MicroVote Infinity:

Security Concerns

Security Seals Ideally, the Infinity’s exposed ports, memory card access areas and case seams would 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. Seals should be logged to
maintain chain of custody of sensitive materials.

External Communication Ports The Infinity has exterior communication ports (RJ45, like Ethernet connectors) that may or may not be sensitive. Unfortunately, there has been no publicly disclosed independent evaluation of the Infinity, so it is difficult to say if an attacker could connect to the terminal via these ports. Ideally, these ports would be covered or disabled during voting.

CompactFlash Cards The Infinity uses an 8MB CompactFlash card to store vote data. If this card is easily accessible, it could be a sensitive area of the Infinity. Unfortunately, we are uncertain as to how the CompactFlash card is inserted and removed from the Infinity.