OUR VOTING SYSTEM

OUR OPTICAL SCAN SYSTEM IS A PRECINCT COUNT AND CENTRAL ACCUMULATION VOTING SYSTEM THAT BRINGS SPEED AND SIMPLICITY TO THE VOTING PROCESS AND THE TASK OF CONDUCTING ELECTIONS.  

 It gives the election administration powerful resources for individual polling places and our accumulation center.  Furthermore, the optical scan system streamlines the entire election process, from the initial definition of candidates and issues, until the polls close and the results are final.  

Of paramount importance is the fact that the optical scan system has three of the characteristics that are still among the most desired by many in today's voting public and within the election administration community.  They are:

  • Appropriate ballot styles for each precinct
  • Ballots that are counted in the polling place
  • Clear and distinct audit trail

The system also addresses the need for security, accuracy and integrity throughout the voting process.

Accuracy: Using paper ballots, the system collects permanent, physical records of voter choices.  It accommodates traditional recounting procedures.

Security: The system features management controls over the voting process from ballot preparation to the verification of results.

Integrity: The system also performs only those functions specified by the election officials.  It provides a complete audit trail to confirm election results.

For precinct workers, the equipment is compact and lightweight so that it can be easily transported to and from the polling place.  They can start using the equipment with minimal training and no computer expertise.  After just a few hours of introduction and training, precinct workers can set up and monitor election with ease and confidence.

CASTING YOUR BALLOT

The optical scan system provides the voter an easy method of casting their ballot. At the polls the voter receives a paper ballot and a secrecy folder.  Using a black pencil provided, the voter records their vote by filling in the oval next to their choices.

After voting, the voter takes their ballot, in the secrecy folder, to the tabulator and inserts it into a slot on top of the machine.  The scanning device reads the votes cast and deposits the voted ballot into a locked and sealed ballot box.  This eliminates ballot handling and provides total ballot security.

The system has been programmed to reject over votes.  When a voter has marked more than one candidate in a race, the ballot is rejected and a message appears stating an over voted race.  The voter is advised that they may go to the Voter Information Specialist table and get another ballot (a voter may receive up to three ballots). If the voter does not care to vote another ballot, the operator can override the rejection, and the system will accept the ballot. The over voted race will not be counted, but all other races that are properly marked will be counted.

When the polls close, votes are tallied at each precinct, printed for posting at the precinct and transferred by modem to the Election Operations Center.  All precinct totals are integrated into a jurisdiction-wide report showing the total votes cast at all precincts. The general public will not only be able to access the results by traditional media reports and calls to our office, but also by logging on to our website.

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Disclaimer: The Polk County Supervisor of Elections cannot be held responsible for the content, accuracy or availability of any external sites linked from within these pages.
Some of the images on this website are from AIGA Get out the Vote Campaign. Credit to Arlene Jimenez, Jeremy Shellhorn, Heather Thompson, Kelly Holohan, Tim Neugebauer, Fank Baseman, Carrie A. Cantwell, Rodrigo Sanchez, Steph Hooton, Kevin Sprouls and Christian Baldo.