|[June 23, 2005]
ES&S AutoMARK Receives Federal Qualification; Breakthrough Ballot Marking Technology Helps States and Jurisdictions Achieve HAVA Compliance for Optical Scan Voting
OMAHA, Neb. --(Business Wire)-- June 23, 2005 -- Today, Election Systems and Software (ES&S) announced that the ES&S AutoMARK, the only voting technology that allows all voters to mark an optical scan ballot privately and independently, is now fully qualified to the latest 2002 federal standards. States and jurisdictions can now proceed with purchasing decisions with confidence that the federal review is complete.
The breakthrough ES&S AutoMARK is an optical scan ballot marking system designed to provide privacy and accessibility to voters who are visually impaired, or have a disability or condition that would make it difficult or impossible to mark a ballot in the usual way. In addition, the technology provides language assistance to voters who are more comfortable speaking an alternative language or who have reading difficulties.
In the short time since it was introduced, the ES&S AutoMARK has generated tremendous interest because of the substantial benefits it offers to election administrators and voters, alike. To date, the ES&S AutoMARK has received rave reviews from election directors and voters across the country, with a number of jurisdictions already indicating an intention to incorporate the technology into their election process. As part of a pilot project sponsored by Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer in the 2004 general election, the ES&S AutoMARK was used in three counties in Phoenix, Arizona, where it performed exceptionally well.
"Throughout our 35 year history, ES&S has been driven by a passion for enhancing the voting experience for all," said Aldo Tesi, President & CEO of ES&S. "I am very proud of our industry leadership in innovating voting solutions to increase access and improve the election process. The ES&S AutoMARK continues that strong tradition." -0- *T Features of the ES&S AutoMARK include: -- Protection for voters by eliminating over-votes; minimizing under-votes; and allowing for the selection of write-in candidates. -- The ability to use the same paper ballot for all voters in a way that protects privacy and provides secure recount capability. -- An audio function, which allows visually impaired voters or those with severely impaired vision to listen to the choices through headphones. -- The ability to protect legacy systems by allowing jurisdictions to use existing optical scanner hardware/software solutions. Simply adding an ES&S AutoMARK device to a polling location ensures compliance with HAVA and eliminates the need to reinvest in a new tabulation systems. -- A sip/puff tube for voters who are not able to use the touch screen or touch pad. -- A zoom feature which enables the voter to increase the font size of each race listed on the optical scan ballot. This may be especially helpful for voters who are sighted but have vision limitations. -- Multiple language capability. Assuring that all citizens in a diverse population can exercise their privilege to vote, visual and audible ballots in multiple languages can be stored on a single machine. *T
The federal certification process is conducted by Independent Testing Authorities (ITAs) over a six- to twelve-month time period, and involves rigorous hardware, software, functional testing, and includes line by line source code reviews. During this rigorous process, both the usability and security features of the system are tested and evaluated. Once ITA testing is complete, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission/National Association of State Election Directors assigns a number to the product signaling that the system has been fully and officially certified to be in compliance with these most stringent of election voting system standards.
About Election Systems & Software (ES&S)
Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) is the world's largest and most experienced provider of total election management solutions. For more than three decades, ES&S -- as an election-only company and the industry leader -- has grown to support a customer base of more than 1,700 jurisdictions in the U.S. Based on the primary voting tabulation system installed within the United States, ES&S customers represent approximately 42% of registered voters in the U.S. In 2004, ES&S supported over 5,700 elections in the U.S.
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