The Crucial Role of Barcoded Seals in Securing Voting Machines

The Crucial Role of Barcoded Seals in Securing Voting Machines

Posted by Steve Diebold

In the realm of safeguarding voting machines and election equipment, the cornerstone of security lies in the utilization of tamper evident seals. Among these, barcoded seals stand out as a cutting-edge solution for monitoring and controlling access to these vital devices while meticulously documenting every interaction. AC&M, a leader in the field, offers a diverse range of barcoded seals tailored specifically for voting systems.

The global landscape of voting methods, machines, and electoral systems is diverse and complex. Nearly every facet of this intricate tapestry demands the application of tamper-evident seals, serving as the vigilant guardians of electoral integrity. These seals serve a crucial role by ensuring that only authorized access occurs for all pivotal components. In doing so, they play a pivotal role in detecting and preventing any potential fraud or mishandling of essential voting apparatus and materials.

Barcoded Seals in Modernizing Voting Systems

Barcoded seals have emerged as indispensable tamper seal, streamlining the meticulous tracking of device movements and access points. By eliminating the need for manual identification and reporting of each component's status, they accelerate processes and facilitate precise control over the extensive array of vital machines and materials spanning diverse voting jurisdictions, both large and small.

Gone are the days of singular voting machines in polling places; the landscape has evolved, replacing hand levers and punch card systems with multifaceted, interconnected devices. In this contemporary context, recording the precise time and date of seal removal assumes paramount importance, ensuring airtight security.

In fact, the main goal of tamper evident seals, including how well barcoded versions work, is still to keep components from being tampered with. In the intricate web of a voting system, the demand for seals, especially barcoded ones, is pervasive and indispensable, underpinning the system's reliability and the sanctity of every electoral process, regardless of scale or locale.

Common Uses Of Seals In Voting/Election Systems

In the intricate world of voting and election systems, the use of seals plays a pivotal role in ensuring security, integrity, and transparency. These seals serve as vital guardians, guaranteeing the authenticity of crucial components and materials, thereby upholding the fundamental principles of fair and reliable elections. Let's see some of the common uses of seals below.

1. Optical Scanning Machines

The majority of voting locations now use optical scanning machines, which read barcodes printed on paper ballots. In fact, most scanning devices now contain a seal that indicates when they have been opened for servicing or inspection. These seals can be a security label or a seal that is mechanically operated. Apart from the two, a barcoded seal will allow for more precise and quick documentation of opening times and dates.

2. Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs)

Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs) serve a crucial function in enhancing the legibility of ballots and facilitating their subsequent scanning with precision. These handheld devices, often equipped with barcoded security labels, are entrusted to the voters themselves within private voting spaces, underscoring the paramount importance of their security.

3. Direct Recording Electronic Machines (DRE)

In the evolving landscape of electoral technology, Direct Recording Electronic Machines (DREs) are gaining prominence. Most DREs are safeguarded with adhesive security labels, while certain models accommodate mechanical security seals. Unlike traditional systems, a DRE operates independently without the need for paper ballots to be inserted and scanned, making it a self-contained and efficient choice.

4. Ballot Boxes

Even in today's technologically advanced world, hand-marked paper ballots securely placed in sealed ballot boxes remain the most prevalent method of casting votes across the globe. While a diverse array of ballot box designs are in use, they all share a common feature: being sealed with tamper-evident seals, often multiple in number.

Among these seals, the plastic strap seal stands out as the most commonly employed variant. However, the integration of barcoded seals extends beyond mere assurance of the proper handling of ballots until they are counted. They provide a comprehensive solution for tracking and maintaining precise records of the box's movements, including details such as where, when, and by whom it was relocated, as well as the specifics of its opening for counting.

5. Tabulating Equipment

Behind the scenes, away from the eyes of voters, a range of machinery is deployed to tabulate and report election results at election offices and management centers. This machinery includes scanners for individual poll logs and reports, computers, printers, and more. Just as with the ballots and ballot boxes, these critical components require sealing to guarantee that unauthorized access remains a distant possibility.

Other Uses For Barcoded Seals in Voting Systems

Beyond their role in safeguarding voting machines, tamper evident seals, such as barcoded seals, play a multifaceted role in ensuring the integrity of various components within the voting process. These components extend beyond machines and encompass items such as pristine, unmarked ballots, often sealed within cartons, and secured plastic envelopes or pouches.

The use of tamper evident seals goes further to encompass the protection of internal documentation vital for reporting results, the tabulating roll paper, and various other supplies. In this context, these seals act as steadfast sentinels, instilling confidence in the authenticity and integrity of these crucial materials and protecting them from the potential of fraudulent use or mishandling.

Equally pivotal is the role of tamper evident seals in the security of cast ballots awaiting their moment of reckoning. Whether they are early ballots, absentee ballots, or provisional ballots, all must find a secure abode until they are counted. Large quantities, such as early and absentee ballots, may find their safe haven within robust plastic boxes, sealed pouches, or compartments with locked access doors.

Typically located at the election center or within a designated secured facility established solely for the counting process, these solutions guarantee the ballots' inviolability until they undergo the crucial tallying process. As a trusted tamper evident seals supplier, ensuring the highest level of protection and authenticity is our unwavering commitment.

Key Takeaways on the Lasting Impact of Barcoded Seals

In the intricate realm of election systems, the choice of tamper evident seals is far from one-size-fits-all. Each state and voting jurisdiction operates under its own unique set of procedures, physical constraints, and handling requirements, resulting in a diverse array of options for securing voting machines and their associated devices and supplies. While the responsibility typically falls within the purview of individual states in the United States, local variations abound.

For expert guidance tailored to your specific needs, American Casting & Manufacturing stands as a reliable resource, boasting a team of seasoned professionals with decades of experience. With over a century of industry expertise, we have earned recognition as a trusted supplier to election authorities worldwide, specializing in tamper evident, barcoded seals, and an extensive array of sealing solutions.

For inquiries and consultations, please do not hesitate to reach out to our specialists at or contact us directly at 1-866-360-6748 within the United States or 516-349-7010 for international inquiries. Your electoral security is our utmost priority, and we are committed to assisting you in safeguarding the integrity of your voting processes.