Analysis

Ohio Election Officials Drill Deep for Innovative Solutions

Often, election officials must allocate personnel for time-intensive, mandatory processes. Staff at the board of elections in Montgomery County, Ohio, looked in their toolbox (literally) to develop a creative, time-saving method for removing voter verified paper audit trails (VVPAT) from machines. These paper printouts allow voters to confirm that voting machines captured their choices accurately. The audit trails are printed on long spools of paper that must be unwound and retained for record keeping, recounts, and audits.

The mandatory retention process was tedious and time-consuming, taking eight staff members four days after each election to unroll the spools from approximately 2,500 voting machines in the county. To save time and money the staff modified a power drill to remove multiple paper audit tapes at once. The process now only takes four staff members two days to complete.

For their innovation, Ohio Secretary of State Jon A. Husted gave the Montgomery County staff a Bright I.D.E.A (Innovative Developments in Election Administration) award. You can see the creative tape remover in action here.

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