This concept also brings together threads from several different inspirations and concepts.
A lot of current ideas about elections are based on getting your ballot at the polling place and marking it there. What if we changed that one thing? Voters would be able to get their ballot on paper or in electronic form, in advance, and mark it in a way that is accessible and comfortable for them. This is no different than the way it is often possible to get a copy of a sample ballot to prepare, but in this concept, that would be a ballot that can be used to mark your choices, similar to the way tax forms are available in many places.
Voting happens in three steps:
1. Receive and mark your ballot anywhere
Voters can receive a ballot to mark in several ways. They do not need any identification, except their address (so that they get the correct ballot). The ways to receive a ballot include
- Paper ballots available by mail, or at public places like libraries, post office, or banks, or by requesting it by phone.
- Electronic ballots that can be marked on a computer or mobile device, received by email, from the web, etc.
- Voters could also come to the polling place, and mark their ballot there.
2. Sign in at the polling place
At the polling place, voters sign in as usual. They are checked against the voter registration database, which is marked so that they can only vote once.
3. Scan, verify, and cast the ballot
The voters already have their ballot ready to scan. The scanners can read a hand-marked ballot, or a QR code printed by the electronic device.
The scanner displays a summary list of the candidates or other ballot choices for the voter to confirm. This display is in large print, or audio.
- If the voter is satisfied that the choices are accurate, a list of the verified choices is printed, the ballot counted, and the vote cast.
- If the voter does not agree with the review, he or she can cancel, and get another ballot to try again.
In most cases, scanning will be fast, making queues shorter.