Saturday, January 07, 2006

Sequoia Optech Insight

Sequoia Optech Insight

This is an optical scan voting machine, a hand marked paper ballot is scanned (similar to a photo copy machine or a computer scanner) and the information is digitized and stored electronically. A voter enters a voting booth and using a pen (though the machine should work with any other writing implement) will fill out a paper ballot by drawing a line between two arrows, then take the ballot out of the booth and place it into the machine, which will take the ballot (like paper money goes into a vending machine) record your vote, keep you ballot and printout a receipt. The receipt feeds directly back into the machine.

• Full face ballot
• Voters mark their own vote
• Two paper trails (receipt, and the ballots)
• Ballot is automatically returned if voter marks lines for too many candidates
• Durable plastic body - great for kicking when frustrated with your choices
• Write in option is well marked for each race
• Stores cast ballots in random order
• Similar models have been used in previous election in other states

• Sequoia brought a marking machine but said it was not for demonstration
• With out a marking machine an optical scanner does not meet the needs of many people with disabilities
• Two step voting processes (filling in ballot, scanning ballot)
• Machine jams as easy as any photo coping machine
• Machine very easy to open and get to stored ballots (should be locked and watched, but doubtful will stay locked after a couple of paper jams)
• Poll watcher, views voters as they insert there ballot (you can hide your ballot in an manila envelope if you ask for one)
• Poll watcher will see your ballot in the event of a paper jam
• Recount may have trouble telling voter intent if a voter marked more than one candidate
• If voter makes a mistake or changes there mind they must throw out old ballot and start again - old ballot is kept by poll watcher
• Ballot is difficult to dislodge from machine if it is returned to the voter
• 8-1/2" x 11" full face ballot (very small print)
• Cost of the paper ballots (approximately 70 cents per ballot)(though salesman thinks it could drop to 30 cents a piece)
• Huge cost if there is a last minute change to the ballot or if a mistake is made
• Receipt very hard to read (small print, bad location)
• Heat sensitive receipts smudge, fade, and discolor
• Receipt does not track party of vote
• Receipt is not encased, easy for voter to take with them
• Lacks the ability for the voter to view receipt and then select weather or not that was their indented vote
• Concerns with privacy between filling out ballot and scanning
• Every instant I viewed a citizen practice a write in vote, they wrote in the candidate but failed to also connect the arrows to cast a vote for the write in candidate
• The company has been at the center of a number of voter fraud cases in the last couple of years
• Vender claims the company is completely based in New York State allow company is owned by a Venezuelan company and their North American operations are headquartered in Oakland California
• Salesman seemed more interested in selling their Touch Screen prototype

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