Electronic counting involves the use of a device to count votes cast. The most common such counting machines use scanning technologies, such as optical mark recognition (OMR) or optical character recognition (OCR), to count ballots that have been completed manually by voters. This broad category of technologies also includes punch card counting machines and electronic ballot boxes used to count electronic records on tokens produced by electronic voting machines.
Electronic voting and electronic counting technologies, while representing different stages of the electoral process, can be combined, as is done by the DRE voting machine. It not only enables the voter to make his or her ballot choices, but also records them directly on the machine and produces results on the machine at the end of the voting process.
It is not mandatory, however, to combine the technologies. It is possible to have electronic voting without electronic counting and electronic counting without electronic voting. It is also possible to have voting and counting on entirely different devices, whereby a voting machine is used to produce tokens with the ballot choices made and a separate counting device tallies the votes recorded on these tokens.
Common Electronic Voting and Counting Technologies