Direct Recording Electronic Ballot - Touch-Screen

The face of this machine is like a TV monitor display. A sequence of screens guides the voter through all of the contests to be voted. All the candidates for one contest are shown on a single screen. As with mechanical voting machines, there are no paper ballots.

To begin the voting process, the voter sits or stands in front of the display. The first screen informs the voter how to begin, for example, to select the language in which the contests are to be described. To continue through the voting process, the voter touches the display in locations whose functions are explained by the information on each screen. The display may be changed to another screen if the voter does not wish to vote in the contest displayed, or to return to a previous screen if the voter wishes to change a previous selection.

In general, a selection of a candidate is accomplished by touching the display at the candidate's name or at a hollow square next to the candidate's name. Then, the selected candidate's name may be shown in bolder or larger type, or the hollow square may be lit up or shown filled in with an X. The next-to-final screen shown is often the summary of the choices that the voter has made. The voter will be invited to approve the choices or to return to a contest to be reviewed again. When the voter touches the location that indicates a completion of all choices, the final screen will indicate a "goodbye" message. At that point, the machine records the "electronic ballot image" of the voter's choices and adds "one" to the totals of each of the selected candidates.

After the close of polls, the summary of voters' choices is recorded on a cartridge or diskette and carried to a central computer location. There the cartridge or diskette, and all similar storage units from other voting machines, have their contents transferred to the main computer. The values for each candidate are summarized and reported. The electronic ballot images of each voter's choices are retained in the machines where they were voted and may be printed out for assurance that the reported totals are correct.

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Photo of Diebold