Ballot Delivery (BD) Use Case

Title: Ballot Delivery Diagram - Description: Ballot Delivery Diagram. This diagram  highlights blank ballot delivery in the election process between ballot creation and ballot marking, just before (and slightly overlapping) e-pollbooks. It also highlights voted ballot delivery in the election process between ballot casting and vote tallying. It also shows the ballot transfer mechanism between the election office and the vote center.

The purpose of ballot delivery (BD) technology is to deliver an appropriate ballot to a given voter via a ballot delivery mechanism (such as the USPS/mail system or alternative electronic transport mechanisms, such as email, website download, etc.). Most typically one will think of the need to deliver blank ballots to voters from a given election office. Paper-based absentee ballots are very common in this case. However, it is becoming increasingly common to encounter electronic blank ballot delivery, particularly in UOCAVA and similar contexts. In such cases, voters would be provided with ways to receive and access a blank electronic ballot, say, via their email, website download of the blank ballot, etc. Potentially voters receiving such an electronic ballot could receive it via many different possible personal devices, be they standalone personal computers, tablets, laptops, and/or “smart devices” (e.g., smartphones, etc.). Although paper-based ballots are typically transferred via “the mail system”, the trajectory of a given ballot in such spaces may include many different mail systems (USPS, military mail system) and differentphysical transport mechanisms (by land, sea, train, air, etc.). Over time, the use of voted ballot return (a.k.a., voted ballot delivery) has become more prevalent. Even though it has the same delivery/transport mechanisms available to it, the primary concern for voted ballot delivery is how to return voted ballots in a most secure fashion. So far, mail has been the transport mechanism of choice for absentee voters. Similar to BoD, voters and election officials may have various reasons to desire an ability to create or convert existing ballot representations into alternative formats.

Title: Ballot Delivery Scenarios - Description: Image showing Ballot Delivery Scenarios:
WHAT? Deliver appropriate ballot via appropriate ballot transportation mechanism.
HOW? Scenarios: 
1. Blank ballot delivery: from EO to voter.
2. Voted ballot return: from voter to EO.
3. Multiple ballot representations: e.g., QRCoded + human-readable ballot content  (list of choices).
4. Ballot conversions for ballot delivery mechanisms: e.g., convert electronic to paper QRCode, deliver via secure physical transfer, convert to electronic QRCode, print on-demand.

Image also shows an overview flow chart from ballot delivery to the transfer mechanism.

Title: Blank-ballot Delivery Scenario - Description: Blank-ballot Delivery Scenario Diagram. A flow chart shows details of the blank ballot being transfered to a physical form for mailing or in-person voting, or an electronic form via email.

Title: Voted-ballot Delivery Scenario - Description: Voted-ballot Delivery Scenario Diagram. A flow chart shows details of the voted ballot being transfered to a physical form for mailing or in-person voting, or an electronic form via email.

Use Case Scenarios

WHAT | Deliver appropriate ballot via appropriate ballot transport mechanism

HOW | Scenarios

  1. Blank ballot delivery: from EO to voter

  2. Voted ballot return: from voter to EO

  3. Multiple ballot representations

    1. e.g., QRCoded + human-readable ballot content (list of choices)

  4. Ballot conversions for ballot delivery mechanisms

    1. e.g., convert electronic to paper QRCode, deliver via secure physical transfer, convert to electronic QRCode, print on-demand

Request for Feedback

For each use case scenario, please address these questions:
  1. Is the use case scenario in scope for the Next Generation VVSG for development of requirements that will undergo testing and certification? or
  2. Is the use case scenario in scope to develop as guidelines for election officials and voting system manufacturers? or
  3. Is the use case scenario not in scope for this work?
  4. If different parts of the use case scenario fall in 1., 2., and/or 3. Please identify as such.
  5. Is anything missing?

Comments

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