This system, from Election Systems & Software (ES&S), includes 525 DS200 electronically scanned paper ballot machines as well as 600 ExpressVote machines, the latter of which use technology similar to touch screen equipment to generate paper ballots. The total cost for the machines was $6.4 million. The new machines were first used countywide for the November 4, 2014 Election.
The purchase of new integrated equipment was recommended to the Board of Supervisors by the Bipartisan Election Process Improvement Commission in March 2013. The recommendation included having new machines in place prior to the presidential election in 2016 in an effort to provide election officers and voters familiarity with the equipment.
This is how the DS200 optical scan voting machines work: a voter marks a paper ballot and places her/his ballot in the optical scan machine. The machine electronically scans the ballot, records the vote, and informs the voter that the ballot has been cast. The machines also let the voter know if the ballot is blank or over-voted (voted for more candidates than allowed in a contest). When the polls close, the DS200 provides election results. In the case of a recount, there is a voter-verified paper audit trail for every vote.
To learn more about using these voting machines, watch the DS200 or ExpressVote videos, contact the Fairfax County Office of Elections at 703-222-0776 (TTY 711), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.