TEVSystems – Developers of Ballot Browser
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Ballot Browser? Ballot Browser is a free, open-source software program created by TEVSystems. Ballots can be scanned using an office scanner and Ballot Browser tabulates results from the images. Ballot Browser can project the images as it counts them, allowing observers to confirm that the ballots are being counted properly.
Has Ballot Browser been used before? Ballot Browser has now been used in two elections in Humboldt County, CA, the June 2008 primary and the November 2008 Presidential Election. In the November election, it caught a Diebold calculation error in the officially certified results.
Does it work? Yes. The program helped discover 197 ballots that had been dropped from the officially certified result in Humboldt County’s November 2008 Presidential election.
How much does it cost? The basic software is free. TEVSystems sells turnkey solutions based on the software, and offers fee-based service and support.
Can I get support? Licensed versions, complete with professional training and support, will be available FOR FREE this year 2012 because of grants from two foundations, Threshold Foundation and the Institute for American Democracy and Election Integrity. It is not clear that this will be available in 2013 or 2014, so it is recommended that interested registrars take advantage of this opportunity this year.
Is the newer software open source? Yes. Everything TEVSystems produces is open source.
How long does the scanning take? It is helpful if the county interested in doing an independent verification have some high speed scanners. The project has one scanner that is available to be borrowed, but only one. The scanner used in Humboldt costs about $25,000 and can theoretically handle at least 5,000 ballots per hour. Because of the time involved in loading and unloading ballots, the actual throughput is substantially lower. The scanners that we include in our turnkey solutions are slower and smaller, theoretically handling between 1,500 and 2,500 letter or legal sized ballots per minute.
What about ballots from machines for disabled voters? In Humboldt County, very few votes are cast on machines. For each such vote, election staff prepare a paper ballot and scan it, so that it is counted with all the rest.
Does Ballot Browser work on Windows? Yes.
Does the newer software work on Windows? No, not without modification.
Does Ballot Browser work on Linux? Yes.
Does the newer software work on Linux? Of course.
Does Ballot Browser work on Mac OS X? It has not yet been tested on OS X, but there is no reason it should not work on OS X.
And the newer software? No, not without modification.
Can your systems be used for non-governmental elections? With minor modifications by us (or by a programmer of your choice), our programs can be modified to work with any “reasonable” ballot designs. Typically, modifications should cost less than $5,000.