A voting system is comprised of several components. The part most familiar to voters is the mechanism by which they cast their vote. Other elements include ballot creation, voter verification, and vote counting. In Ohio, each county’s Board of Elections (BOE) is responsible for selecting, purchasing, and maintaining their own voting system. Their choices, however, are limited to vendors whose components are certified by the Ohio Secretary of State to meet rigorous security standards and specific operational capabilities.
In 2019, the Richland County Board of Elections updated their system with the purchase of new voting machines and tabulators from Dominion Voting Systems to replace the old ones, originally purchased in 2006. For voters, the process on the new voting machine, the IMAGECAST X (ICX), remains virtually the same. The ICX has a touch-screen on which the voter makes their selections and then prints out an anonymous paper record of those selections. Through an illuminated window on the printer, voters can confirm that their selections have been read correctly by the machine’s electronics before they officially cast their ballot. This paper record, called a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), is secured and stored by the BOE to assist in recounts and audits of the voting system.
Unlike the old voting machines though, the voting card, used by the voter to access their ballot on a voting machine, is not locked in until the ballot is cast on the ICX. That is why it is very important that the voter not remove the voting card until the screen shows that the ballot has been cast and they are finished.
For voters with visual impairment, the machines offer the ability to change the size of the letters and the contrast, and there is a machine in every voting location that offers an audio ballot.
Below is a video that demonstrates the IMAGECAST X machine that Richland County is now using. The only difference is that ours stand on legs rather than tables, and the software is the latest certified version.