by Countable | 6.7.17
With recent news regarding Russian interference with VR Systems, a U.S. company that provides election services and systems, including voter registration, it seems timely to review what the different ballot submission systems are in each of the states.
No vote collection system is connected to the internet, protecting it somewhat from hacking interference, but many voter registration systems and records are now internet connected. This leaves them much more vulnerable to outside interference.
First, a review of voting systems used in U.S. states as of September 2016:
Optical Scan Paper Ballot Systems: Voters mark their votes by filling in an oval, box, or similar shape on a paper ballot. Later, the paper ballots are scanned either at the polling place or at a central location.
Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Systems: DRE systems employ computers that record votes directly into the computers' memory. These interfaces may incorporate touchscreens, dials, or mechanical buttons. The voter's choices are stored by the computer on a cartridge or hard drive. Some DRE systems are also equipped with a printer, which the voter may use to confirm his or her choices before committing them to the computer's memory. The paper records can be preserved to be tabulated in case of an audit or recount.
Ballot Marking Devices and Systems: These systems are designed to help disabled voters who might be unable to vote using other methods. Most devices utilize a touchscreen along with audio or other accessibility features. Rather than recording the vote into the computer's memory, the ballot is instead marked on paper and later tabulated manually.
Punch Card Voting Systems: These devices employ a paper card and a small clipboard device. A voter punches holes in the card to mark his or her vote. The pattern of holes in the card indicates the votes cast. The ballot may then be placed in a box to be tabulated manually or scanned by a computer later.
Additionally, some jurisdictions use paper ballots that are manually counted at the polling place. Other jurisdictions use these paper ballots for absentee or provisional voting.
Here are the systems by state, alphabetically listed. If you want to get into the details by county for states that use more than one system, check here:
Alaska: paper and DRE with paper trail
Arizona: paper and DRE with paper trail
Arkansas: paper and DRE with and without paper trail
California: paper and DRE with paper trail
Colorado: mail of paper ballot
Connecticut: paper ballot
Delaware: DRE without paper trail
District of Columbia: paper and DRE with paper trail
Florida: paper and DRE without paper trail
Georgia: DRE without paper trail
Hawaii: DRE with paper trail
Idaho: paper and DRE with paper trail
Illinois: paper and DRE with paper trail
Indiana: paper and DRE without paper trail
Iowa: paper ballot
Kansas: paper and DRE with and without paper trail
Kentucky: paper and DRE without paper trail
Louisiana: DRE without paper trail
Maine: paper ballot
Maryland: paper ballot
Massachusetts: paper ballot
Michigan: paper ballot
Minnesota: paper ballot
Mississippi: paper and DRE with and without paper trail
Missouri: paper and DRE with paper trail
Montana: paper ballot
Nebraska: paper ballot
Nevada: DRE with paper trail
New Hampshire: paper ballot
New Jersey: DRE without paper trail
New Mexico: paper ballot
New York: paper ballot
North Carolina: paper and DRE with paper trail
North Dakota: paper ballot
Ohio: paper and DRE with paper trail
Oklahoma: paper ballot
Oregon: mail of paper ballot
Pennsylvania: paper and DRE without paper trail
Puerto Rico: paper ballot
Rhode Island: paper ballot
South Carolina: DRE without paper trail
South Dakota: paper ballot
Tennessee: paper and DRE without paper trail
Texas: paper and DRE without paper trail
Utah: paper and DRE with paper trail
Vermont: paper ballot
Virginia: paper and DRE without paper trail
Washington: mail of paper ballot
West Virginia: paper and DRE with paper trail
Wisconsin: paper and DRE with paper trail
Wyoming: paper and DRE with paper trail
What do you think of your state’s vote collection and tabulation method? Use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Slideplayer.com)
Written by Countable