Voters will see something new at the polls in this fall’s General Election in College Park. The City is partnering with ElectionGuard on their third trial of new election technology that lets every voter confirm that their ballot was counted and provides independent verification that the election results are correct.

How does ElectionGuard Work?

ElectionGuard runs alongside an existing voting system. Voters mark paper ballots as usual. When the ballot is scanned, ElectionGuard encrypts the ballot and prints a confirmation code for the voter to use to verify that their ballot is included in the final count. All of the encrypted ballots are used to create a snapshot of the in person votes for the election. This snapshot is then used to check the results of the election without revealing how any individual voted.

Who are the Election Guardians and what do they do?

Election Guardians are trusted, independent members of the community who help set up ElectionGuard. They have a special role in creating the cryptographic locks that secure the election:

  • Before the election, Guardians create a special lock and key. The lock is loaded on Before the election, Guardians create a special lock and key. The lock is loaded on the ballot scanners to encrypt all of the bathe ballot scanners to encrypt all of the ballots for the election.
  • During the election, Guardians each keep their part of the key secure. Having a During the election, Guardians each keep their part of the key secure. Having a small group of Guardians means that no one person can unlock the election on small group of Guardians means that no one person can unlock the election on their own.
  • When it’s time to count the ballots, Guardians return to unlock When it’s time to count the ballots, Guardians return to unlock the election. They bring their keys back to the election office to unlock the tally and create the They bring their keys back to the election office to unlock the tally and create the ElectionGuard record.

It is a simple but critical role to ensure that no single person can access election results. With several people acting as Guardians, they add independent security to the ElectionGuard lock and key process.  Guardians do not replace the City’s appointed Board of Election Supervisors, who are still in charge of running the election.

ElectionGuard Public Information Session
You are invited to a public information session on Wednesday, September 27, to learn more about how ElectionGuard works and how it will be used in the upcoming College Park election:

  • Meet the election vendors
  • Take part in a mock election
  • Run a challenge ballot
  • Test the voting equipment

ElectionGuard Public Information Session
Wednesday, September 27 7:00 p.m.
College Park City Hall
7401 Baltimore Avenue

Parking is free in levels 3-5 of the Downtown Parking Garage, located at 7308 Yale Avenue.

Accessible Voting

For those who cannot hand mark a ballot with a pen , the City is using the Hart InterCivic Verity Touch Writer as the ballot marking device to support accessible voting. The Verity Touch Writer has accessible features that allow the voter to make their selections through an electronic interface, and to print a marked ballot when complete. Once Touch Writer prints a ballot, the voter will cast the ballot through the scanner. We will offer hands on demonstrations of the Touch Writer at the September 27 information session.

For more information, to ask questions of the vendors, and to try the equipment, please come to the Information Session on September 27 at City Hall.