The ClearMark Ballot Marking Device (BMD) is a standalone device that includes an Audio Tactile Interface (ATI), which allows voters to generate a machine-readable and human readable paper ballot. The ClearMark BMD consists of a software application running on a touchscreen computer, assistive technology, and a printer.
The ClearMark BMD was introduced in Clear Ballot’s ClearVote 2.4 voting system, which was certified by the New York State Board of Elections in August 2023. The software application that runs on the ClearMark system is ClearAccess, which is also the model name for the BMD component of earlier ClearVote voting system versions.
The ClearMark system is not attached to any network or the internet. Wireless functionality is disabled. The ClearMark system has local wired connections to the assistive devices and the printer.
The ClearMark includes a redundant power supply that is used to ensure continued accessible voting if a power failure occurs. When using the thermal printer configuration, an internal battery provides backup power. When using the laser printer configuration, an external power source provides backup power to the ClearMark system.
The ClearMark BMD also provides a ballot report that includes counts of all voting sessions, ballots printed, reprinted, or canceled by precinct, split, and ballot type, with corresponding totals. A jurisdiction can issue the ballot report in the pre-election mode or the election mode. In multi-day voting configurations, a jurisdiction can issue the ballot report at the end of each day before suspending voting. The ballot report does not contain any vote tally information.
When a voter is ready to mark and cast a ballot, the poll worker enters the voter roll code (password), chooses the ballot input and presentation format desired by the voter, and selects the applicable ballot style for the voter.
The voter can customize the ballot presentation language for instructions and navigational aids, the screen display characteristics (such as text contrast and font size), and audio and assisted voting options.
After making their selections, the voter reviews the ballot and makes any necessary corrections before printing the voted ballot and inserting it in the ClearCast optical scanner or depositing it in a ballot box for later tabulation. After the voter prints their ballot, the login screen reappears, and the ClearMark system is ready for the next voter.
The ClearMark Scanner is an optional non-tabulating verification device that allows voters to scan their ballots for verification. (This device is different from the ClearCast tabulation machine.) After a machine-marked, scannable ballot is printed, the voter can verify that their choices were marked correctly using the ClearMark Scanner before casting their ballot for tabulation.
Clear Ballot Group was founded in 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. Clear Ballot’s leadership team includes LArry Moore, formerly vice president of Lotus Development, Tim Halvorsen, co-founder of Iris Associates Inc. and Tab Iredale, formerly of Global Election Systems, Diebold Election Systems and Election Systems & Software.