Sketch of Voting Tablet design

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Mon Dec 10 2007 - 16:19:03 CST

In the past, we've talked about making voting machines from purely commodity
components. I think this may be feasible for a precinct based optical scan
system (like OVS is showing), but for an accessible voting machine intended
for a single voting booth, I think a custom design is necessary.

I have attached a sketch of such a design.

BASIC FORM FACTOR
---------------------------------
It's intended that two machines could be stored in a space about 9" x 12"
and about 3 1/4 " high. Six of them (for about one poll site) could fit in
a stack no more than about 10 inches high.

DESIGN IDEAS
----------------------------
- Ink, batteries, printing mechanism, and electronics would be housed in the
thicker end. I don't really know if it could all fit in there, but that
would be the goal (case about 2" thick at one end with rubber feet about
1/8" each)

- The device would hold paper and ink for about 150 sheets. It would be
easy to refill, if necessary, on Election Day most likely opening in clam
shell fashion. It's expected that one machine would be used to produce no
more than about 100 summary paper ballot sheets in the voting booth on
Election Day.

- Almost all (like 99%) ballots could have choices fitting on a single
sheet, with up to three (newspaper width) columns. The system would be
capable of printing a summary requiring more than one sheet, in rare cases
that would be needed.

- The screen is small but the system would employ a fish-eye view,
magnifying the contest under consideration.

- The machine would have ports to plug in any devices needed to accommodate
voters with special needs. The same machine would work for normal voters.

- Size, shape, number, color etc. of buttons would be determined by R&D. A
voter could use the buttons or the touch screen to navigate.

- Touch screen design would have no calibration issue

- If this idea were to be fully engineered, it's intended that this would be
a public royalty-free design that any manufacturer could build. Of course,
various components inside (processors, screen, printing components, etc)
would be COTS.

- Open software -- most likely running on a cut down Linux

- Would run with DC power adaptor, but could run on batteries as necessary
to meet state/federal requirements.

- The unit could be secured to a table by a cable. It could also be used
curbside or for mobile (e.g., bedside) use.

- Development would avoid Accupoll syndrome by vetting all design ideas with
proper authorities and experts -- employ open design process.

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open-ebp-voting-tablet-1.0.GIF
Received on Mon Dec 31 23:17:05 2007

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