Make / Model: Scytl BallotSafe
Equipment Type: Remote Ballot Marking System or Internet Voting System
Sctyl’s BallotSafe is an electronic ballot delivery tool, server-side remote ballot marking system, with optional voted ballot return (internet voting). Voters access their blank ballots and either mark them using the system or print and mark them by hand. Voters can return the ballots through the online portal or return the paper ballot to the elections office by mail or drop off.
In 2020, Sctyl’s BallotSafe is available to Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) voters in 48 of Mississippi’s 82 counties.
To use BallotSafe, a voter must apply to receive and electronically mark a ballot and then receive an email notification of ballot availability. The voter accesses the system via a website and enters their first and last name, the last four digits of their Social Security Number (SSN), and their date of birth, and selects “Login.” After being authenticated, the voter is shown the election name, date, and the status of their ballot (e.g. “Ballot Available”). From this screen, the voter can choose to download their ballot or, if allowed by the jurisdiction, can choose to mark their ballot online.
To mark a ballot using Scytl’s server-side remote ballot marking system, a voter selects the oval to the left of the candidate of their choice. The voter is prevented from overvoting. On the review screen, the voter sees their selections and the candidates they did not choose. The voter can change their vote by selecting “Click Here to Change Your Vote.” When satisfied, the voter selects “Continue” and given options for how to return their ballot. In some jurisdictions, the voter is required to print and mail or drop off their ballot. In jurisdictions where electronic return of voted ballots (internet voting) is allowed, the voter can choose to return their ballot through the online portal, which requires an updated internet browser.
Scytl Innovating Democracy
Sctyle eBallot Delivery
Electronic Return of Voted Ballot (Internet Voting) Supported
Every internet-connected system or device, including a remote ballot marking system that allows for the electronic return of voted ballots (internet voting), is vulnerable to attack. Internet voting systems do not provide a voter-verified paper record, which is the most reliable way to recover from an attack and check that the results were not tampered with. In their Security Analysis of the Democracy Live Online Voting System, not Sctyl’s BallotSafe System, Michael A. Specter and J. Alex Halderman note that if a hacker interferes with a voter’s selections after they have submitted a ballot, the voter has no way to review their actual printed ballot and likewise has “no practical ability to detect vote-changing attacks involving online ballot return.” There is also currently no trustworthy way for a voter to ensure that somebody else did not vote in their name. Read more about Verified Voting’s stance on internet voting here.
Sctyl was founded in 2001 in Spain. During the 2016 general election, Scytl products were used in 28 states. The company’s products include voter registration services, poll worker management, electronic ballot delivery, remote ballot marking, and electronic return of voted ballots (online voting).