Multnomah County launches new voting system to improve speed and transparency of elections

July 28, 2015

Contacts: Eric Sample or Tim Scott, Elections Office, 503-988-3720

Multnomah County Elections demonstrating new ballot tabulation system

On Tuesday, July 28 Multnomah County Elections will debut its new ballot tabulation system which will bring more speed and transparency to the election process. The new software-based voting system called ClearVote will replace the county’s current optical scanning technology. The digital imaging system will scan and capture high-resolution images of paper ballots, providing instant visuals to allow elections workers to determine voter intent. The system then quickly tabulates and produces election results.

“This technology will significantly reduce the amount of pre-processing of ballots required before tabulation. In the past, a small army of election workers would have to inspect every ballot for over votes, ambiguous marks and write-ins before scanning because the old system didn’t handle those situations well. The new system is much smarter. It takes a picture of the ballot vote area, highlights areas on the ballot image where there might be problems and allows election workers to resolve those issues on the image rather than enhancing the physical ballot,” said director of Elections Tim Scott.  

ClearVote technology will expedite ballot tabulation by scanning 4,000 ballots per hour compared to the current 1,000 ballots per hour.  The system will also improve transparency by allowing all election stakeholders to clearly see the voters’ marks, giving candidates and their supporters convincing evidence of the outcome of an election.

Boston, Massachusetts based Clear Ballot manufacturers ClearVote technology.  While Oregon is the first state to certify ClearVote for use as a ballot tabulation system Clear Ballot has significant experience auditing election results in several states.  ClearVote will also be used in Josephine County.

WHO:  Multnomah County Elections Division & Clear Ballot

WHAT:   Visual demonstration of new ClearVote ballot tabulation system. 

WHERE: Multnomah County Elections Division 1040 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214

WHEN:  Tuesday, July 28 at 9:00am