The Optech Insight is an optical scaner and ballot tabulator, which is used to read and tabulate ballots at the polling place.
The Optech Insight consists of an electronic ballot counting device which reads completed ballots by scanning for the voters’ marks indicating their preferences. The scanner sits atop a ballot box. The Optech Insight also tabulates the results after the polls close, which are both printed on a paper copy and stored to an internal memory card. The Insight runs off both internal and external power to reduce the risk of malfunctions, and it can store voter data on an internal memory card.
As votes are entered, the Optech Insight stores the vote tallies on its internal memory card, and when the polls close, the Optech Insight prints out a paper copy of the election results for polling officials. The Insight has an optional modem for transmitting election results, and can also transmit results via a proprietary Sequoia device called a Hybrid Activator and Accumulator (HAAT). The HAAT accumulates results from machines in a polling place, and transmits them to the jurisidiction’s central election office via a wireless cellular network.
Upon entering the polling place, the voter will receive a paper ballot. The voter makes choices on her ballot by connecting an arrow next to her choice of candidate or issue position.
The voter inserts the ballot into the scanner at the top of the device, which reads the marks on the ballot. If the voter has overvoted (voted for more candidates than eligible), the Insight will eject the ballot for the voter to review again, or deposit the ballot into the ballot box. If the voter has cast a write-in vote, the scanner will feed the ballot into a center bin so that pollworkers may process the write-in votes. Ballots that require no review by pollworkers are deposited into a rear bin.
A front, auxiliary bin is available in case the machine is not functioning during polling hours; voters deposit ballots into the auxilary bin manually, but they will not be able to use the auxilary bin unless pollworkers have unlocked it.
Sequoia Optech Insight pollworker training video from Alameda County CA
Sequoia Optech Insight pollworker training video from Cook County IL
Sequoia was involved with voting systems for more than 100 years. At the end of the 19th century, Sequoia invented the lever-action mechanical voting system. Many machines of this type are still used today in some U.S. jurisdictions. In the 1980s Sequoia was bought by Jefferson Smurfit, an Irish printing conglomerate which in turn sold it to De La Rue, a British currency paper printing and security company. After losing money for several years, on March 8, 2005, Sequoia was acquired by Smartmatic, a multi-national technology company which had developed advanced election systems, voting machines included. In November 2007, following a verdict by the CFIUS, Smartmatic was ordered to sell Sequoia, which it did to its Sequoia managers having U.S. citizenship. Sequoia Voting Systems was acquired by Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems on June 4, 2010.