Our Solution

The Hybrid Voting System is a software based solution that operates on general purpose hardware (standard PCs) and open system platforms (e.g. Linux, PostgreSQL, etc.). The prototype has been developed using enterprise Java and open source XML. Because special purpose hardware is not required, the cost per user is quite low. But, more important than low cost is that the system can produce results that are more trusted, reliable, and certain than other systems available today.

With the Hybrid system, voters make their choices on touch screen displays just as they would with the best of the currently available electronic systems. Because the system presents the ballot electronically, it is relatively easy to make accommodations for visually or motor impaired voters and voters who require minority languages. In addition, overvotes are prevented and unintentional undervotes are eliminated. When the voter is finished making his/her choices, the system prints a clean, plain text official ballot.  The ballots are printed on plain paper using our patent pending Plainly Secure™ array of security and integrity mechanisms. Using plain paper can greatly reduce the cost of administering elections compared to preprinted ballots. It can also significantly improve the handling of early voting and other multiple precinct vote centers.

This machine-produced ballot is completely unambiguous and cannot be interpreted to mean anything other than exactly what the voter intended. In addition to the plain text, the ballot includes a specially formatted “high density” barcode that captures all of the votes and can be quickly scanned. The content of this barcode will always exactly match the plain text of the ballot and will always be scanned exactly as the voter intended. It also has security features that prevent false votes from being recorded and, even if invalid ballots could be made, the user can conclusively identify the valid ballots without compromising voter privacy.

At the end of the voting period, the two independent systems (the ballot creation system, which helps the voter make selections and print the ballot, and the ballot scanning system, which scans the voter verified printed ballot) each produce reports that can be quickly reconciled. If there is any discrepancy, it can be resolved and accurate results reported based on the count of the actual voter verified paper ballots in the ballot box. This creates an unprecedented level of assurance that the initial vote count reported is accurate. Finally, because the ballots are in clear plain text, it is very easy to audit the paper ballots by hand to confirm the machine counts where required by law. Again, this is simply impossible with purely electronic systems (there is nothing to count), and results vary significantly with handmarked paper systems because different reviewers can make different conclusions about “what the voter intended” (there will frequently be votes counted in a manual tabulation that were recorded as undervotes in the machine count), but with the Hybrid Voting System each voter's intent can be easily read and recorded.