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LA County – California - 2016 Presidential Primary Elections: The ePen solution

The ePen allows staff to digitally capture count reports from different precincts and transmit them to consolidation centers easily, transparently, quickly and accurately. In doing so, it helps build trust and make election results more credible.

The solution comprises the following main elements:

1.    A digital pen that looks and feels like a traditional pen. It includes a special camera that captures and digitizes every stroke performed on the report.

2.    A digital paper containing a special pattern of quasi-invisible black dots that the ePen can read. This unique pattern allows the digital pen to know the exact position of the tip on the paper sheet at all times.

3.    A transmission device that transfers the information from the pen to the consolidation center for further processing.

4.     A sophisticated software product in charge of monitoring the data transmission operation from capture up to the tabulation of votes, providing security and integrity checking at all times.

How it was used

The technology was used to transmit results electronically to the County Clerk’s Office, simplifying and hastening the aggregation of results.

The ePens were deployed in three Check-In-Centers where all the votes cast through provisional envelopes and vote-by-mail ballots were sent after polls closed. Officials proceeded to count returned items and fill the corresponding forms using the ePen.

The forms used had a special pattern required for the ePen to recognize the traces done over the form.

After agreeing and signing the form, a configured phone was used to review and transmit the information captured during the filling to a central server.

The data written on the count report arrived securely to the consolidation center, where it was translated into the totals received.