Election Officials



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Glossary Term Definition
abandoned ballot Ballot that the voter did not place in the ballot box or record as cast on DRE before leaving the polling place
absentee application

An application to receive an absentee ballot.

absentee ballot Ballot cast by a voter unable to vote in person at his or her polling place on Election Day
absentee ballot request form

A form used by a voter to request an absentee ballot.

absentee mail process

A series of actions or steps taken when voting using an absentee ballot.

absentee procedures

The established series of actions taken by an election official to process absentee ballots.

absentee vote

A vote cast using an absentee ballot.

absentee voter

A voter who uses an absentee ballot to vote.

absentee voter status

A term used by election officials when determining whether a voter is eligible for, applied for or voted using an absentee ballot.

absolute majority

More than 50%.

acceptance testing Examination of a voting system and its components by the purchasing election authority (usually in a simulated-use environment) to validate performance of delivered units in accordance with procurement requirements, and to validate that the delivered system is, in fact, the certified system purchased.
Access Board; access board Independent federal agency whose primary mission is accessibility for people with disabilities and a leading source of information on accessible design.
Access Control

The process of granting or denying specific requests to obtain and use information, and related information processing services, and enter specific physical facilities.

accessibility Measurable characteristics that indicate the degree to which a system is available to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities. The most common disabilities include those associated with vision, hearing and mobility, as well as cognitive disabilities.
accessibility requirements

The set of laws, statutes and procedures that govern the voting process to ensure that voting is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

accessible facility

A location that meets all of the laws and statues to ensure that it is available and usable by individuals with disabilities.

accessible voting station Voting station equipped for individuals with disabilities.
accreditation Formal recognition that a laboratory is competent to carry out specific tests or calibrations.
accreditation body (1) Authoritative body that performs accreditation. (2) An independent organization responsible for assessing the performance of other organizations against a recognized standard, and for formally confirming the status of those that meet the standard.
accuracy (1) Extent to which a given measurement agrees with an accepted standard for that measurement. (2) Closeness of the agreement between the result of a measurement and a true value of the particular quantity subject to measurement. Accuracy is a qualitative concept and is not interchangeable with precision. Version 1.0 Volume I: Voting System Performance Guidelines Appendix A: Glossary A-4
accuracy for voting systems Ability of the system to capture, record, store, consolidate and report the specific selections and absence of selections, made by the voter for each ballot position without error. Required accuracy is defined in terms of an error rate that for testing purposes represents the maximum number of errors allowed while processing a specified volume of data.
Activation Device

Programmed device that creates credentials necessary to begin a voting session using a specific ballot style. Examples include electronic poll books and card activators that contain credential information necessary to determine the appropriate ballot style for the voter.

active registered voter

A voter whose record is current with the appropriate election authority and is eligible to vote.

active status

A term used by election officials when a voter's record shows that the voter is eligible to vote. Active status may not be accurate if the facts have changed since a voter last updated their record.

Adjudicated Ballot

A voted ballot that contains contest selections that required adjudication.


Process of resolving cast ballots to reflect voter intent. Common reasons that ballots require adjudication include: write-ins, overvotes, marginal machine-readable mark, having no contest selections marked on the entire ballot, or the ballot being unreadable by a scanner.

advance(d) ballot

A ballot cast prior to election day.

advisory board member

A member of an advisory board or panel.

advisory panel

A group of individuals and organizations that provides non-binding strategic advice to the management of a corporation, organization, or foundation.


A written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation.

affidavit for absentee ballot

A form used by a voter to request an absentee ballot that is confirmed by oath or affirmation.

affidavit of circulator

A written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation by a person who gathered voters' signatures on a petition.

affidavit of identity

A document containing personally identifiable information used to verify your identity or signature.

affidavit of registration

A document containing personally identifiable information used to verify your identity or signature.


Officially associated with an organization. In terms of voting, this usually refers to voters registering to vote and formally associating themselves with a recognized political party.

Air Gap

A physical separation between systems that requires data to be moved by some external, manual process. Denotes no connection to the internet or other digital networks.