Kodak Alaris develops digital processing of ballot papers

Solution improves efficiency, trust and speed of paper voting processes

Tags: Document managementImaging & PrintingKodak Alaris (kodakalaris.com )
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Kodak Alaris develops digital processing of ballot papers Kodak Alaris is offering an end-to-end solution to manage paper-based voting. (Shutterstock)
By  Mark Sutton Published  October 5, 2016

Kodak Alaris has developed technology to digitise processing of election ballot papers, to help reduce errors and speed up processes.

The company says that its solution, which encompasses everything from ballot paper processing hardware and software, design, print, logistics and professional services, offers a considerable improvement over traditional hand counting of ballots or Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) automated processing.

David Whitton, general manager of Kodak Alaris Information Management - Eastern Cluster (Middle East, Africa, East Europe, Turkey & Russia) said: "The future of elections is undoubtedly digital technology and most electoral management bodies must adopt new solutions to improve the electoral process, both in terms of speed and transparency of the results. Digital in this case doesn't mean electronic voting but rather digitizing ballot papers and processing the information after it's scanned. The requirement for this is a reliable scanning and software solution to help save time and reduce errors when tallying the votes."

The company said that current automated processing using OMR is very sensitive to any variances on ballot papers, and can be more prone to errors. Digitised procedures can increase transparency & accuracy and reduce the time taken to count results.

Kodak Alaris is offering an end-to-end solution which includes high-volume scanners with integrated sorters, ballot paper processing & exception handling software, ballot paper design, secure printing and delivery, on-site ballot processing operations and training.

The solution allows for central administration of the ballot process, while tracking each machine, so that in the event of a counting error or machine failure the fault can be identified quickly and ballots counted using a replacement machine, to avoid delays in tallying results.

The company is also offering specialist election consultancy services with its partners to help organisations to maintain compliance and efficiency in ballot processes. Design services also include capabilities to design ballots that can reduce fraud and counterfeit ballot papers.

"The strength in the Kodak Alaris solution is the ability to place the ballot papers in any orientation in the scanner and the machine can still process the ballot sheet. This is a marked improvement from earlier systems where the sheets had to be placed in a very specific manner. Obviously as numbers go up, the chances of error increase and the amount of labour increases greatly. Failure/ return rate from analogue technology is quite high, and the processing speed is slow. Speed and accuracy go up considerably by working with digital technology. Adopting a digital strategy has benefits of improving efficiency and thereby cutting cost. Besides the security, compliance, time savings and reduction of errors, one of the main benefits is that the solution results in transparency and reassures the public that the process is legitimate," added Whitton.

Kodak Alaris will be showcasing the solution at its stand at GITEX Technology Week, stand C4-10 in Hall 4.

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