State by State Voting Equipment

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Voting Equipment Used by State is a listing of which types of voting equipment are used in each state.

Types of Voting Equipment Used

Lever Machines

Lever Voting Machine.jpg

This is one of the first and oldest types of voting machines used for elections. New York State is the only state that mandates that option depending on the municipality on voting machines. These machines use a lever to indicate the correct choice.

Optical Scan Ballot

An optical scan ballot is a type of ballot in which a voter uses a special pen or a pencil to mark their choice and they feed it to a scanner. Optical scanners in the polling place known as "precinct-count optical scanners" can check paper ballots for correct marking and also for write in votes.

There are two columns in the accompanying ballot box for an optical scanner in which one column is for ballots with no-write in votes, and another for write-in votes included in the ballot. There is also a separate box in the front for provisional ballots or during in the case of an election that an optical scanner malfunctions in which ballots are kept separate until the polls are closed.

When the election is over, a tally sheet printout from the optical scanner must be signed by the poll workers and posted publicly. Also each poll worker and observer must receive a duplicate signed printout. For each optical scanner, all ballots and another signed tally sheet printout must be stored together in a sealed bag so that recounts can be done scanner by scanner. The sealed bag of ballots and other records must be observed (guarded) at all times until the election is certified. The contents of each bag should not be mixed with the contents of any other bag[1].

OpScan Ballot Feeder.jpg

OpScan Ballot.jpg

Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)

VVPAT.jpg

A Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) or a Voter Verified Paper Ballot refers to a kind of vote receipt printed by an electronic voting machine that shows the elector his or her vote as it is being entered into the electoral system. The voter must be required to perform an action that confirms that their choices have been recorded correctly on the paper, hence making it a verified rather than just "verifiable" ballot in a legal sense. The VVPAT is kept by the election official, as the record of votes cast, for audit and recount purposes. Verification of a small percentage of VVPAT should to be activated when elections are close[2].

Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Voting Machine

A Direct Electronic Recording (DRE) voting machine records votes by means of a ballot display provided with mechanical or electro-optical components that can be activated by the voter (typically buttons or a touchscreen) that processes data by means of a computer program, and that records voting data and ballot images in memory components. After the election, a DRE produces a tabulation of the voting data stored in a removable memory component and as printed copy. A DRE system may also provide a means for transmitting individual ballots or vote totals to a central location for consolidating and reporting results from precincts at the central location[3].

Voting Equipment Used By State

States With Paper Based Voting Systems-Precinct Optical Scanners

These states have a primarily paper-based voting system using mostly optical scanners with paper ballots[4]..

States That Use Direct Recording Electronic Voting Systems and Require Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails

These states employ Direct Recording Electronic Method in their voting systems and require a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail when conducting elections[5]..

States That Use Direct Recording Electronic Voting Systems and Do Not Require Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails

These states employ Direct Recording Electronic Method in their voting systems and do not require a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail when conducting elections[6]..

States That Use Direct Recording Electronic Voting Systems and Have Optional Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails

These states employ Direct Recording Electronic Method in their voting systems and have an option varying by precinct if they want to use Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail when conducting elections[7]..

States that Use Lever Machines or Straight Paper Ballots

Usage of Voting Equipment Since the Help America Vote Act was Enacted

HAVA Usage.jpg

In a October 29, 2008 edition of the USA Todaay the above referenced graph talked about the increase of usage of optical scan ballots and electronic machines since the 2000 election. This has been attributed to the Help America Vote Act and provisions in the Help America Vote Act that allowed states to replace lever and punchcard machines with optical scan or electronic machines. As the 2008 elections commence, close to 89 percent of muncipalities across the United States use either the optical scan paper ballot or an electroic system as less than 7 percent of municipalities across America use old-fashioned lever machines and paper ballots[9].

Federal Dollars Spent on Replacing Voting Equipment

HAVA Spending.jpg

Also, the October 29, 2008 edition of the USA Today talked about Help America Vote Act Spending as the Help America Vote Act 's grant dollars were mostly spent on voting systems. Over 63 percent of $2 billion made avialable through the Help America Vote Act by states was spent on replacing voting equipment. This has equated to close to $1.26 billion dollars used to replace outdated punch card, old-fashioned lever, and paper ballot voting methods and replacing them with either electronic or optical scan ballots[10].

References


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