Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

Midterm Election 2006

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on November 8, 2006

JW Note:  In honor of this midterm election going, apparently, without much of a hitch.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,942,142:  Voting ballot, voting machine, and associated methods.

 ballot

We claim:

1. A voting system, comprising: a processor circuit having a processor and a memory; a scanner coupled to the processor circuit, the scanner being capable of scanning a ballot to generate a digital ballot therefrom, the digital ballot comprising an electronic image of the ballot and including at least one voter selection; vote interpretation logic stored in the memory and executable by the processor, the vote interpretation logic comprising: logic that obtains a ballot specification embodied in a two dimensional bar code included in the digital ballot, the ballot specification being associated with the digital ballot; and logic that ascertains a vote expressed in the digital ballot based upon the ballot specification and the at least one voter selection indicated in the digital ballot.

2. The voting system of claim 1, wherein the vote interpretation logic further comprises logic that generates a digital vote that embodies the vote expressed in the digital ballot.

3. The voting system of claim 2, wherein the vote interpretation logic further comprises logic that tallies a number of digital votes stored in the memory, thereby generating an election result.

4. The voting system of claim 2, further comprising: a vote accept actuator coupled to the processor circuit; and a vote reject actuator coupled to the processor circuit.

5. The voting system of claim 4, wherein the vote interpretation logic further comprises: logic that stores the digital vote embodying the vote in the memory upon a manipulation of the vote accept actuator; and logic that discards the digital vote upon a manipulation of the vote reject actuator.

6. The voting system of claim 1, wherein the vote interpretation logic further comprises logic that generates and renders a vote confirmation that depicts the vote interpreted from the digital ballot, thereby providing a voter with an opportunity to review the vote.

7. The voting system of claim 6, wherein the logic that generates and renders the vote confirmation that depicts the vote interpreted from the digital ballot further comprises logic that generates and renders a selection invalidity indicator within the vote confirmation that indicates an invalid selection in the vote.

8. The voting system of claim 6, further comprising: a display device coupled to the processor circuit; and wherein the logic that generates and renders the vote confirmation that depicts the vote interpreted from the digital ballot further comprises logic that renders the vote confirmation on the display device.

9. The voting system of claim 6, further comprising: a printing device coupled to the processor circuit; and wherein the logic that generates and renders the vote confirmation that depicts the vote interpreted from the digital ballot further comprises logic that directs the printing device to highlight the vote as expressed in the digital ballot on the ballot.

10. A voting system, comprising: a processor circuit having a processor and a memory; a scanner coupled to the processor circuit, the scanner being capable of scanning a ballot to generate a digital ballot therefrom, the digital ballot comprising an electronic image of the ballot and including at least one voter selection; a vote accept actuator coupled to the processor circuit; a vote reject actuator coupled to the processor circuit; vote interpretation logic stored in the memory and executable by the processor, the vote interpretation logic comprising: logic that obtains a ballot specification embodied in a two dimensional bar code included in the digital ballot, the ballot specification being associated with the digital ballot; logic that ascertains a vote expressed in the digital ballot based upon the ballot specification and the at least one voter selection indicated in the digital ballot; logic that generates a digital vote that embodies the vote expressed in the digital ballot; logic that generates and renders a vote confirmation that depicts the vote ascertained from the digital ballot, thereby providing a voter with an opportunity to review the vote; logic that stores the digital vote embodying the vote in the memory upon a manipulation of the vote accept actuator, and logic that discards the digital vote upon a manipulation of the vote reject actuator.

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