Election systems vendors have varying levels of RCV capability integrated in to their systems. Most of the major vendors (Election Systems and Software, Dominion, and Hart InterCivic) have systems used in at least one US jurisdiction using RCV. Those systems are overwhelmingly optical scan based, but direct recording electronic (DRE) systems have been used in the past for RCV. Unisyn, another vendor, has a system that can run RCV elections, but that RCV capability is not currently used in any US elections. Finally, San Francisco is looking into building its own open source elections system which would require RCV capability. It would likely be the first open source election system with native RCV capability.
Implementation of RCV With Multiple Voting Systems
Most states in the United States have a number of different types of voting systems used for their elections. Some states have a number of different voting systems manufactured by different vendors. Others use one single vendor, but have different models of voting equipment from that vendor. This report outlines potential implementation models for states based on their voting system setup. Also available is a table outlining the current RCV capabilities of the voting systems available from the four largest voting system vendors: Dominion, Election Systems & Software, Hart InterCivic, and Unisyn.
While some election systems are capable of counting an RCV election internally (meaning they require no extra components, computers, or applications to record and count ranked ballots), others require outside applications to complete the counting. In order to use an efficient alternate counting solution, voting equipment must be able to export a complete cast vote record (CVR) of all votes cast on that equipment during an election. We are producing a report on which election equipment is capable of CVR exports to help jurisdictions decide whether to upgrade their voting equipment or to continue with their current equipment. Choice Plus Pro, an RCV tabulation application developed for Cambridge, MA, has been used in Takoma Park, MD; Burlington, VT; Aspen, CO; and Portland, ME, in addition to providing multi-winner vote tabulation services in Cambridge. Additionally, the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center is developing a customizable RCV counting application. More information about that Universal Tabulator is available at this page.
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