Voting technology in Belgium

Voting Machines

Belgium has deployed two generations of Smartmatic voting machines: the SAES-3370 and the A4-517. These machines, with 17-inch touchscreens, allow voters to easily make, verify, correct and confirm their choices. A built-in printer produces paper ballots with the voter's choices, so the voter can verify that the paper matches the selections they made on the touchscreen before the paper ballot becomes the official vote.

The printer generates the ballot in plain, human-readable text, and a QR code. The printed ballot does not become a registered vote until it is scanned and deposited in the electronic ballot box by the voter.

President Machines

The President Machines (PMs) help poll workers to conduct the election. These machines have four main functions:

  • To activate smartcards that voters use to access the voting machines;
  • To electronically register and store each vote;
  • To count all votes and store the results; and
  • To generate a polling station report.

The PMs work in conjunction with peripheral devices. The first, the smartcard reader unit, features a contact chip card that enables the poll worker to match each voter's profile with the appropriate ballot on the voting machine.

e-Urn (electronic ballot box)

The second is the e-Urn, or electronic ballot box. This device reads the ballot’s barcode and transfers the data to two separate USB pen drives before capturing and storing the paper ballot.