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The AccuVote-TSx[1] is a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine with a voter-verified paper audit trail by Diebold Election Systems. This article generally describes the specific AccuVote-TSx model.

Main article: Voting machines

Design and operation

Voter verification

With the optional AccuView Printer Module™ it has a federally-qualified voter-verified paper audit trail capability.[2]

Brief description

ES&S' iVotronic Touch Screen Voting System is a poll worker activated, portable, multilingual touchscreen system that records votes on internal flash memory. A poll worker uses a device called a Personal Electronic Ballot (PEB; pictured above at left) to turn the machine on and enable voting. Voters choose their ballot language and then make their selections using a touchscreen, much in the same way that modern ATMs work. The iVotronic can be equipped with a VVPAT printer, called the RTAL (Real-Time Audit Log) which will record the voter’s choices, in real-time as opposed to at the end of the session. When the polls close, poll workers move summary data from each machine onto the PEB. The PEBs, and RTAL rolls, if any, are then transported to election headquarters or their contents transmitted via a computer network.[2]

Detailed Voting Process

When the voter enters the precinct, he or she is given a "smartcard" by a poll worker after confirming the voter is registered. A "smart-card" is a card the size and shape of a credit-card which contains a computer chip, some memory and basic data such as the voter's voting language and political party. The voter then takes the smart-card to a voting machine and inserts the smart-card into the machine to allow voting. After using the touchscreen to vote, 1) the record of the vote is directly recorded electronically to multiple, internal flash memory cards and 2) the voter's smart-card is reset to ensure that it can only be used to vote once. The smart-card pops out of the machine with a loud "click" and the voter returns it to a poll worker.[2]

If the optional AccuView printer module is in use, voting takes place as described above however, at the conclusion of voting, a paper ballot is printed and displayed under a transparent screen in the AccuView housing so that the voter can verify their selections before the ballot is deposited into a container within the printer module to await retrieval by poll workers.[2]

When the polls close, a poll worker or election official inserts a different-type of smartcard, an administrator card, into each voting machine and puts the machine into a postelection mode where it will no longer record votes. At this point, the machine writes the votes from its internal memory to flash memory on a "PCMCIA card". The PCMCIA card is merely a removable form of flash memory. A printed tape of all votes cast or vote totals for the voting machine can also be printed out at this time depending on local procedure and regulations.[2]

The PCMCIA cards are taken out of each machine and either taken to a central tabulation facility or to remote tabulation facilities. At the tabulation facility the votes are read out of the PCMCIA cards and into a central computer database where precincts are combined to result in an aggregate vote. For remote facilities, the votes are transmitted to the central tabulation facility via a closed "Intranet", the Internet or modem. The PCMCIA cards and any printouts from the voting machines can then become part of the official record of the election.[2]

Reported problems

Pre-2008 election

May 2006: Ohio. Voter access card failures, paper jams, and even a missing electrical adapter on the touch screen machines caused election problems. Screen review doesn't match ballot printout. Electronic ballot boxes were lost in two counties.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag
Cite error: <ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found