We’ve made some changes to the Verifier Map and Data. The maps now display voting equipment usage in election day polling places only and makes a distinction between jurisdictions in which most voters are hand marking paper ballots with Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs) provided primarily for accessibility and those in which BMDs are used by all voters to mark ballots. The national map now displays voting system types by county rather than by state, which provides a more accurate representation of voting equipment usage.
Since we started the Verifier database in 2006 we have always tracked voting equipment in terms of tabulation, distinguishing equipment in terms of paper ballot voting systems, Direct Recording Electronic voting systems, and a mix of the two systems in the same polling place. Ballot marking devices served primarily as assistive devices in jurisdictions that used a paper ballot voting system. With the advent of BMDs intended for use by all voters in 2016 and the significant increase in this voting method, we recognized the need for a different classification, and this is reflected in the new map and database.
We have also begun tracking jurisdictions using a “vote center” model and those that have adopted an “All Mail Ballot”. Note that in jurisdictions using an “All Mail Ballot” voting model the map displays the voting system provided in election day vote centers and therefore may not reflect the fact that most of the ballots in the jurisdiction are hand marked and returned by mail or deposited at drop-off locations.
Equipment used for marking and tabulating ballots during in-person early voting and for mail ballot/absentee voting is no longer displayed on the maps but is still displayed for each jurisdiction and is still searchable. For in-person early voting vote centers, as in election day vote centers (including those in All Mail Ballot jurisdictions, it is often difficult to determine what percentage of voters will be hand marking paper ballots and how many will use DREs or BMDs. We will continue our research but at this point we have simply listed all equipment used in these situations.
Gathering data on how jurisdictions intend to use BMDs, whether primarily as accessible devices or for most or all voters, is a challenging and ongoing research effort. Please let us know if you have more accurate or current information about any particular jurisdiction by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.