The AccuVote-OS (also known as the AV-OS) is the same hardware scanner that is used for the precinct count optical scanning but it has a different embedded software (“firmware”) installed. Its configuration allows it to be linked with a number of other AV-OS units via a network whereby voting data can be sent into the GEMS server from many scanners concurrently scanning ballot batches. Firmware version 2.0.12 designates the machine is configured for ‘central count” as opposed to “precinct count.” Central count AV-OS is often used to count absentee ballots as well as provisional and damaged but “remade” paper ballots at county election headquarters or another centralized location. Premier/Diebold also markets a smaller unit (left) that provides high-speed scanning capability.
Unlike the precinct count AV-OS, the AV-OS central count units’ operation is largely controlled by GEMS. While the units scan ballots and interpret the ballot marks, the AV-OS central count uploads the voting data to GEMS and does not tabulate or keep any record of votes on the unit. The central count AV-OS memory card needs no ballot definitions and only has some technical information regarding the particular scanner so that it can be individually tracked as it scans ballots. It can be used with or without an automatic ballot feeder called the AccuFeed.
AccuVote OS Central Count Voting Instructions
1. After you check in at the polling place, a poll worker will give you a paper ballot, which you will mark with the pen provided. Be sure to verify with the poll worker that you are using the correct pen for the machine used in your polling place.
2. Mark your choice on the ballot by darkening the oval (above right) next to your candidate’s name or selection. Follow the directions carefully to be sure your mark will count.
3. To cast a write-in vote, there are two steps: first, darken the oval for the Write-In position in that contest. Second, write the name of the person you are voting for on the line next to the Write-In oval. You must complete both steps to be sure your write-in vote will be counted!
4. When you have made all the choices you wish to make, review your ballot carefully. If you have made a mistake marking your ballot, ask a poll worker for another ballot.
5. 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.
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.