Fairfax County's Integrated Voting System
In 2014, the Fairfax County Office of Elections purchased a new integrated voting system, including over 1,125 state-of-the-art voting machines. This was the most comprehensive replacement of the county's voting equipment in over a decade.
This system from Election Systems & Software (ES&S), includes 525 DS200 electronically scanned paper ballot machines, and 600 ExpressVote machines that use technology similar to touch screen equipment to generate paper ballots. The total cost for the machines is $6.4 million. The new machines were first used countywide for the Nov. 4, 2014 Election.
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, so election officers and voters would be familiar 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 that electronically scans the ballot, records the vote, and informs the voter that the ballot has been cast. The new machines also let the voter know if the ballot is blank or over voted (voted for more candidates than allowed in a contest). In addition to providing results when the polls close, the new equipment provides a paper ballot for all voters, including those who need to use the new accessible equipment called ExpressVote. There is a voter verified paper audit trail for every vote in case of a recount.
The ExpressVote machine is fully compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and enables voters with special needs to use technology similar to touch screen equipment to generate a marked paper ballot. The ballot is inserted in to the same DS200 optical scan machine used by other voters. The technology allows those with special needs to vote independently and privately.
To learn more about using these voting machines, watch the DS200 or ExpressVote videos, or contact the Fairfax County Office of Elections at 703-222-0776 (TTY 711) or email firstname.lastname@example.org