Board reviews voting equipment

By Sam Wildow -

MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections continued to see vendor demonstrations on voting equipment this week after hearing from Clear Ballot on Thursday evening.

Miami County Commissioners Jack Evans and Gregory Simmons were also present at this vendor demonstration.

Clear Ballot Sales Engineer Keir Holeman and Regional Sales Manager James Rundlett highlighted their ClearVote Product Suite, a paper-based system. The line of products included an election management system, an ADA-compliant ballot-marking device, a precinct tabulator that is also a high-speed digital scanner, and vote visualization software.

Their vote visualization software ClearCount would provide visual verification of elections with scanned copies of the ballots. Holeman demonstrated how the software can organize the votes cast by each race as well as which votes would be considered valid, invalid, and questionable, such as overvotes.

ClearCount is also able to collect all of the write-ins cast in a race in one place, providing ways to adjudicate the write-ins more quickly than having a poll worker “having to thumb through every single ballot,” Holeman said.

Their election management software ClearDesign has a browser interface, although it is localized and does not access the internet, and it allows boards of elections to create their elections and design their ballots.

Clear Ballot’s ADA-compliant ballot-marking device ClearAccess offers a touch screen that prints out ballots that look exactly like the paper ballots that other voters would be voting on by hand. Rundlett demonstrated how the ClearAccess device could change viewer options or connect to a keypad for blind voters.

All of the ballots can then be submitted to and scanned by the tabulator and digital scanner ClearCast.

Rundlett also said during the meeting that Clear Ballot is in use in approximately 75 percent of the voting systems market in Oregon. They are also in use in Wisconsin and Colorado as well as in parts of Ohio.

The vendor demonstrations come after the board received a directive from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office last year to determine their possible need of voting machines with the county commissioners. The county’s current DRE voting machines are also over 12 years old.

The board also held a Vendor Day last year, when they invited a number of businesses to display their voting machine products.

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336