Optical Scan Systems
Optical scanners have been used in election systems for many years, where they have proven to have a high degree of reliability. While they are computers, and require legislative safeguards to ensure that our votes are accurately counted, they offer many advantages over electronic touch screen voting machines of all types.
Optically scanned ballots
The voter is given a paper ballot that lists the names of the candidates and the options for referenda, and next to each choice is small circle. To vote, the voter darkens in the bubble next to the preferred option for each office or referendum.
Precinct count systems count the votes at each local precinct before results are sent to a central location. At the close of the polls, the optical scanner produces a printout of all of the vote totals, the totals are sent to election central, and the locked ballot box is transported to election central in case the ballots are needed for any subsequent recount or audit.
With central count systems, the marked ballots are transported to a central location for counting on high capacity optical scanners. In such a system, ballots are not counted at each local precinct, only at the central location.
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