Central Count Optical Scan Solution

AVANTE patented verifiable optical scan solutions with proven accuracy are configured with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware of computers, printers, and document imaging scanners with the flexibility to accommodate diverse elections and voting methods:

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AVANTE CENTRAL COUNT OPTICAL VOTE-TRAKKER®

The AVANTE Central Count Oprtical VOTE-TRAKKER® is a digital image capturing and pixel-counting tabulation system.

Total Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Solution:

  • Designed for use in counting ballots after poll closing at the precincts, at the counting centers and Headquarters.
  • COTS document imaging scanner with proven reliability and imaging capabilities.
  • Configured for plug in power cord and press start button to get ready for voting (easy connections or hook-ups).
  • Internal UPS for computer.
  • Optional ballot box with lock-and-seal.
  • Role-based access control to operate the system.
  • Designed to meet EAC 2005 and 2007 VVSG security and accuracy requirements.

Meets and Exceeds Current and Proposed Voting System Standards with Unparalleled Accuracy, Security and Transparency:

  • Patented and proven automatic scaling to account for paper shrinkage and expansion due to moisture, wrinkled and folded paper and other minor paper anomalies.
  • The first optical scan system to meet the requirement of less than one error in 1,500,000 marks.
  • Patented and proven automatic rejection of double counting using a machine-readable randomly generated unique ballot identifier.
  • Patented and proven automatic rejection of faked ballots using a machine-readable randomly generated unique ballot identifier.
  • The first system to automatically extract digital images of the ballots having any over-voted contests for ease of canvassing.
  • The first system to automatically extract digital images of ballots having under-voted contests for ease of canvassing.
  • The first system to provide automatic assessment of light markings and other anomalies without re-scanning.
  • The first system to use write-once-read-many (WORM) CD-R/DVD signed by observers/officials before allowing use of transfer media to protect data security.

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Security and Role-Based System Access Control and Management:

  • Requires two operators log-ins to activate system and close poll.
  • Role-based access control.
  • Images are hashed with a randomly generated unique ballot identifier for unparalleled security management.

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These patented solutions are developed and proven with the most stringent accuracy and integrity requirements in mind to accommodate the spectrum of complex elections in USA, South America and others as well as more common and simpler parliamentary and presidential elections in Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia.

AVANTE’S PATENTED OPTICAL-VOTE-TRAKKER® is the first optical scan system to provide technological improvements that reduce reading and tally errors on paper ballots.

Some of the highlights:

(US Patents: 7,635,088; 7,635,087; 7,614,553; 6,892,944; 7,036,730; 7,077,313; 7,422,150; 7,431,209; 6,973,581; 7,197,167; and pending patents: 11/709,449; and others)

In 2008, AVANTE congratulated the commissioners and staff of COMELEC for their successful implementation of the first automated ballot counting, consolidation, and the peaceful election that used OMR automatic ballot counting solution for five out of six provinces for the August 11, 2008 election in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) of the Philippines. The system successfully counted more than one million ballots with 100% accuracy and delivered the results in record time.

“In addition to the electoral process achievements, the voting solution deployed in the Philippines represents the highest standard of election integrity and auditability in the world. The basic solution was certified for reliability by an Independent Testing Agent according to U.S. Voting Standard Guidelines and utilizes most of the innovations patented by AVANTE to solve all the potential issues of electronic voting,” Dr. Chung, CEO of AVANTE said. The ballots utilized proprietary anti-copying and counterfeit ballot prevention functions and were digitally captured for auditability.

Benefits of the credible election are starting to emerge. “Speaker Prospero Nograles yesterday asked newly re-elected Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan and other ARMM officials who won “clean and clear” in recent fully automated ARMM elections, to use their overwhelming mandate to bring a just and lasting peace in Mindanao.” (http://www.visayandailystar.com/2008/August/18/negor4.htm)

AVANTE’s OPTICAL-VOTE-TRAKKER® was the first optical scan solution to achieve less than 1 error in 1.5 million marks and was certified to the FEC 2002 Voting System Standards.

  • This is achieved through patented quantitative pixel counting mark technology that differentiates between slightly lighter marks and slightly smeared marks.
  • By using patented dimensional scaling and fiducial marking, the system recognizes natural paper expansion and shrinkage due to moisture, mechanical folding and wrinkles.

AVANTE OPTICAL-VOTE-TRAKKER® was the first optical scan solution to capture digital ballot picture images during scanning to provide electronic audits of the paper ballot counting process.

  • The capturing of picture images during scanning is like taking a video of the actual ballots that have been submitted for counting. Other than precinct count applications, the system scrambles the picture image order to provide voter privacy.
  • There should be complete detailed chain-of-custody management of the ballot opening and handling process before they are submitted for scanning. For checks and balances, a video recording of the complete process under public view minimizes any possible challenge to the election process.

AVANTE OPTICAL-VOTE-TRAKKER® is the only optical scan solution that uses “write-once-read-many” (WORM) CD-Rs or DVDs as its transfer and storage media eliminating doubts over data corruption.

  • The same WORM type CD-R is used for loading ballot templates.

AVANTE OPTICAL-VOTE-TRAKKER® is the only optical scan solution that includes optional use of patented randomly generated paper ballot identifiers used to eliminate forged ballots and double counting.

  • A unique randomly generated paper ballot identifier is generated and printed on the paper ballot in the form of a machine-readable barcode.
  • The identifier is not tied to the voter registration system or any particular voter.
  • The unique randomly generated number prevents any forged ballots.
  • The unique ballot identifier automatically prevents any double counting.
  • AVANTE OPTICAL-VOTE-TRAKKER® is the first to provide automatic rank-choice voting to facilitate instant run-off elections. Paper ballots and electronic ballots are generated at the same time within the same EMS (Election Management System) that allows voters to rank all candidates in accordance to their preference. The software automatically performs the “run-off” instantly as part of the tabulation of votes.
VOTER PREVIEW, ACCURACY AND SECURITY
State/Federal Requirement AVANTE Central Count Solution
Over-voted Contests
  • EAC: Provide alert as such
  • Some States Election Codes require specific contest be noted
  • Highlighted on digital ballot image
  • Digital ballot images automatically extracted for manual review and canvassing
Under-voted Contests
  • EAC: Provide alert as such
  • Some States Election Codes require specific contests be noted
  • Highlighted on digital ballot image
  • Digital ballot images automatically extracted for manual review and canvassing
Selections as Read by Scanner
  • EAC: No requirement
  • No other system provides such capability
  • Full-face digital ballot image with highlighted over-voted and under-voted contests.
  • Selections showed and noted.
Ability to decipher light and color marks and “write-in”
  • EAC: No requirement
  • No other system provides such capability
  • Automatic review of difference between different level of oval markings
  • Automatic ballot image extraction of write-in for ease of tabulation
Ability to read ballots that are folded, high moisture, etc
  • EAC: Less than one error in 1,500,000 marks
  • No other system provides such capability
  • Scaled to read with 100% accuracy.
  • First ever to reach 0% error in 1,500,000 marks
Ability to prevent double counting
  • EAC: No requirement
  • No other system provides such capability
  • Optional use of unique random ballot identifier that is machine readable (not human readable) to prevent double counting
Ability to detect faked ballots
  • EAC: No requirement
  • No other system provides such capability
  • Optional unique random ballot identifier that is machine readable (not human readable) to detect and reject faked ballots
Speed for Processing Ballot
  • EAC: No specific requirement
  • 2.2 seconds for 8.5”x14” duplex ballot
  • 2.6 seconds for 11”x17” duplex ballot

AVANTE OPTICAL-VOTE-TRAKKER® is the first integrated verifiable and auditable election system to provide end-to-end auditability with unparalleled counting accuracy. Election integrity is enhanced from ballot generation, printing, delivery, counting, imaging, audit logs, data protection with hashing using randomly generated ballot identifier, write-once-read-many (WORM) data transfer media and encryption during transmission.

BALLOT FLEXIBILITIES AND COSTS
State/Federal Requirements AVANTE Central Count Solution
Ballot Sizes
  • No special specifications
  • Traditional availability:
    • 8.5”x14”
    • 8.5”x18”
  • 8.5”x11” (Duplex)
  • 8.5”x14” (Duplex)
  • 11”x17” (Duplex)
  • 12”x18” (Duplex)
Ballot Paper
  • No special specifications
  • Traditional requirements:
    • 90-lb card stock
    • Special Paper
  • 24-28-lb with 90 or higher brightness copying paper (recommended)
  • 20-lb with 84 brightness (minimum)
Ballot Type
  • Single Ballot Sheet with Full-Face Presentation for Some States Election Code
  • Some jurisdictions use “vertical” while others use “horizontal” candidate-selection presentation
  • No special Federal requirements
  • Single Ballot Sheet with Full-Face Presentation in either Horizontal or Vertical Candidate/Selection Presentation
Ballot Limitation
  • No special specification. Typical:
    • All ballot styles must be pre-printed
    • Limitation as to number of ballot styles
  • Print and mark ballots as needed
  • No need for pre-printed ballots
  • No limit of ballot styles
Typical Ballot Costs
  • >$0.90 Per Ballot Sheets with Both Sides Printed (8.5”x18”, 90-lb card stock)
  • $0.30 Per Ballot Sheet with Both Sides Printed (11”x17”, 24-lb Paper)

Below suggests a workflow for the paper balloting solution:

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AVANTE provides “Ballot-On-Demand”; “Precinct-Based-Review-Ballot”; Precinct and/or Central Count Optical Scan Systems for Unparalleled Election Integrity.

AVANTE OPTICAL VOTE-TRAKKER® was the first company to have its optical scan paper ballot system certified to the EAC 2002 VVSG (N-1-12-22-22-002 and N N-1-12-22-22-003). This patented (US 7,077,313) system provides the following unparalleled advantages:

Comparative Analysis on Performance of Different Class of Optical Scan Systems
AVANTE OPTICAL VOTE-TRAKKER® Conventional Optical Systems
Accuracy
  • Tested accuracy to read ballots to exceed “Help America Vote Acts” (HAVA) requirements with less than 1 error in 1,500,000 marks.
  • Not known. Many have proven to be less than accurate as required by HAVA.
Audit Capability
  • Captured digital ballot image (a picture of the ballot) as they are scanned as part of audit trail to prevent post election ballot tampering.
  • Not available.
Double Count Prevention
  • Optional machine authentication (machine readable random identifier) to prevent double counting.
  • Not available.
Fake Ballot Detection
  • Optional machine authentication (machine readable random identifier) to detect and reject faked ballots.
  • Not available.
Post Scan Assessment
  • Automatic assessment of light markings and erased markings for the under-voted and over-voted ballots.
  • Not available.
Duplex Capability
  • Yes. Read multiple ballot sheets with ballots on both sides.
  • Yes. Read multiple ballot sheets with ballots on both sides.
Availability
  • Total commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware to meet urgent delivery requirements within days of ordering.
  • Special order

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