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Bus Ticket (size) Ballot

If casting a ballot could be as easy as validating a bus ticket it would make taking the voting machine to the voter physically easier. A completed ballot only needs to have the voters choices on it, not all the possible options on the blank ballot.

Photo of Paul Reader
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This concept originates in comments from Whitney Quesenbery and Dean Logan

The process of voting in USA seems to boil down to about 5 steps

  1. Identify your eligibility to vote;
  2. Receive a list of choices (blank ballot or voting software)
  3. Make and mark your choices (completed ballot)
  4. Lodge your choices  (cast ballot either postal, absentee or in-person)
  5. Have your choices counted and acknowledged.(usually by machine)

Traditionally this is the order in which these steps take place but concepts like Whitney's Mark Anywhere have potentially moved 1 to position 3 without risk to system integrity. The upshot of this is that generation of the completed ballot can take place anywhere and involve the most convenient method for the voter including using such concepts as Ipad Absentee Voting or EZ Ballot. This would also include home computers, smart phones and any other device (including in polling place machines) that can produce a completed ballot either printed directly on appropriate stock or transferred to removable media.

With a device like a portable Ipad Absentee Voting kiosk choices could be input directly or be provided through removable media from EZ Ballot devices, conventional computer, tablet, smart phone etc.

The physical output from the voting process using these methods can be a summary of actual choices both human and machine readable potentially about the size of a bus ticket or a business card at most.

This then becomes the completed ballot which can then be machine read at the polling place using a machine similar to a bus ticket validating machine that displays the voters choice to be (cast) confirmed (or rejected). Once confirmed a similar ticket summary is produced for the voter to take home as a receipt.and the original is counted and stored for audit/manual review if necessary.

With a bus ticket size ballot it then becomes practical to take the voting machine to the voter rather than the other way around.

Voting vans could contain:

an electronic/online roll (to identify legitimate voters);

an EZ Ballot for step-wise voting (including audio prompting);

a portable Ipad Absentee Voting Kiosk
(that can produce a bus ticket size completed ballot either directly or from removable media from a variety of sources including the EZ Ballot); and 

a relatively small Voting Machine (like bus ticket validation) 

Polling places could have appropriate multiples of this equipment.

For situations where a physical list of options (blank ballot) is necessary Daniel Dore's Bar Code Voting concept is a promising option.

How will this concept improve election accessibility for everyone?

The concept is an extension of others which ease the process of preparing a completed ballot. It is one possible output prior to casting a vote that makes bringing the physical casting process to the voter easier. Ballots prepared electronically at home (or elsewhere) on removable media could be processed in mobile polling stations (Voting Vans) producing the physical ballot necessary for auditing.

How well does this concept adapt to the changing needs of different voter communities?

Decentralising and mobilising the voting process is very adaptive to changing needs. This concept is related to portability and reduction in size of the counted physical ballot.

What kinds of resources – whether time, money, people, partnerships, technology or otherwise – will be needed to get this concept off the ground?

Considerable development in both software and hardware. There are probably many organisations (commercial or otherwise) already involved in this and the principle effort would possibly be in selling the concepts as viable part of the process. Principle selling points include: Reduction in physical size of counted ballot Reduction in size of equipment required to print completed ballot - bus and rail ticket printing and encoding is well established. Reduction in size and complexity of equipment required to process completed ballot - validation of bus and rail tickets is well established. Reduction in storage space requirements and costs. Combined with electronic systems for voting (making choices) a considerable reduction in future investment even if this type of process is only intermediate ahead of full electronic voting and counting.

My Virtual Team

Whitney Quesenbery Dean Logan Priyanka Kodikal Cornell Openstorm Andrew Baranak - Georgia Tech Team


Join the conversation:

Photo of Patricio M. Hidalgo

To expedite Voting and still under a comfortable mobile setting is the most practical route. You have recreated the entire scenario, and my "Voting with a Touch (w/ Poken devise) could be a complement to yours.

Photo of Paul Reader

I agree completely Patricio, as I think our discussion on your concept page confirms.
There is much complementarity amongst a number of concepts, particularly in respect of the transportable (mobile) options. I am looking forward to seeing some of the smaller concepts (such as this of mine) possibly being incorporated as components of broader or larger concepts.

Photo of Patricio M. Hidalgo

That's the beauty of this challenge: some concepts evolve as One designed, together