OVC can run elections with free software and inexpensive hardware. We can do it now for elections that don’t require federal and/or state certification.
This fact was demonstrated earlier this month in a very public way. Thanks again to everyone that helped make this happen. We were extremely busy up until the last minute before the event. We were still buying hardware at 9:00 pm before the polls opened 10:00 am the next morning.
The system was well received by participants, and it worked as expected. The election included five contests on the first day, then six contests on the second and third days.
At 6 pm after the first day, OVC received the list of eleven best-of-show finalists. By 10 am the next morning, the voting machines were ready and the polls opened with the new ballot definition (including voice prompts and tabulation routines updated and checked).
The event was also documented on YouTube.
Hundreds of people signed a support letter.
All of the 816 ballots cast scanned successfully with the barcode reader (in a previous trial in January of 2008, one out of 204 ballots could not be tallied with the barcode reader due to mangling and poor print quality, although the text was readable). Ballots were tallied in batches every 45 minutes or so. Each batch was then sealed in an envelope with a copy of the tally sheet.
A video-taped audit was conducted two weeks after the event. The batches that were checked demonstrated that the tally sheets matched a hand count of the votes. A few individual ballots were audited by checking the barcode output with the text on the ballot. The grand totals were also checked by summing selected contests from the tally sheets.