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Vote-PAD Ballot Marking System

The Voting-on-Paper Assistive Device, called the “Vote-PAD,” is an inexpensive, non-electronic, voter-assist device that helps people with a broad range of visual or dexterity impairments to vote independently. The Vote-PAD can be used in any jurisdiction that uses voter-marked ballots. It is customized for each ballot in each election to provide access to the precinct’s hand-counted or optically-scanned paper ballot. [1]

Ellen Theisen, founder of VotersUnite.Org, is the owner and CEO of Vote-PAD, Inc. In the summer of 2005, with input and encouragement from other concerned citizens, including some from the disabilities community, she designed the Vote-PAD to provide a low-cost, affordable method of providing independent voting to people with disabilities. [2]

Introduction to the Standards specifically says that the standards were developed to aid the states in evaluating "complex voting system technology" and "computer-based systems." The Vote-PAD is neither. The Vote-PAD is not a computer-based system. Preparation of the device for an election does not even require the use of a computer. The Excel macros that compose the Instruction Assistant are offered as an optional method of preparing the instructions. They are not integral to the system, nor are they necessary for its full operation. [3]

The Wisconsin State Elections Board agrees that Vote-PAD is not subject to the VSS in a letter dated March 23, 2006 to the Wisconsin municipal clerks from Kevin Kennedy, Executive Director of the Board.[3]

Wisconsin is the only state using Vote-PAD.[4]

Main article: Voting machines


  1. Vote-PAD website[1]
  2. Ellen Theisen, designer and founder, Vote-PAD website[2]
  3. 3.0 3.1 About ITA testing and NASED certification from the Vote-PAD website [3]
  4. The Verifier from Verified Voting [4]