DemTech’s ePollTAB and Advocate Precinct are electronic poll book systems used in place of printed paper poll books to check in voters and serve as comprehensive election management tools. Advocate Precinct software runs on a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) laptop, while ePollTAB software runs on COTS tablets that run Windows 10, Android, or iOS software. DemTech’s electronic poll book software allows jurisdictions to receive real-time updates, capture and compare signatures, and process same-day voter registrations.
The Advocate Precinct uses Precinct Automation Manager (PAM), allowing jurisdictions to manage all of their electronic poll books. PAM supports transmitting data to and from devices, the magement of automatic software updates, and gathering real-time reports. Jurisdictions can also set poll worker and judge access permissions.
DemTech’s Advocate Precinct has long been used in several Virginia localities, many of which began transitioning to the ePollTAB after the November 2020 election.
Nework Communications and Connections
DemTech’s ePollTAB system uses two forms of network communications: a Merlin device, which is used to generate and provide a private network that can be wired, wireless, or both, and a wireless or USB networking device, which allows the Merlin device to sync up with Amazon Web Services and which connects the Merlin to a jurisdiction’s network. The Merlin device is responsible for managing and maintaining the private local network for the ePollTAB devices and thus jurisdictions are encouraged to physically secure their network connections from unauthorized access and physically secure the Merlin devices with tamper-evident seals and physical security from unauthorized entities.
The hardware devices are controlled by the Cisco Meraki MDM. DemTech’s ePollTAB system uses both wireless and wired communications to keep ePollTAB devices connected to each other and to networked printers. These communications are utilized for real-time sharing of check in data between devices and to print check in receipts. According to the Virginia State Board of Elections: DEMTECH Electronic Pollbook Certification, SLI Compliance researchers attempted to access or compromise these networks but were unsuccessful.
According to the test report prepared by SLI Compliance for Virginia state certification, the DemTech CenterPoint ePollTAB v1.0 electronic poll book software relies heavily upon security measures that are dependent upon third party technology and services, including Samsung native OS Security, Cisco Meraki MDM, Amazon Web Services, and Ubiquiti’s UniFi controller. Issues with any of these individual services could affect the sercurity of the electronic poll book software.
DemTech entered the election systems field with BallotDNA and Plexus, software to support the electronic delivery and marking of ballots, and later debuted its Advocate Precinct and eLDesk Election Night Reporting software.