Using the TEVS system, ballots are counted by an open source tabulator side by side with the corporate tabulator, used by that particular county. The open source tabulator puts on the web or on a DVD all of the ballots which are made public for all to see. They can also be put on a DVD and then be stored in the registrar’s office available for viewing if the registrar would like a little more privacy than having all of the ballots of the registrar’s county displayed on the internet. The ballots are anonymous of course — no ballot can be connected with the person who cast it. You could count them one by one if you want, but the free, open source software developed by Mitch Trachtenberg and certain people he works with are willing to work with registrars to independently verify an election, even in large locations with hundreds of thousands of votes.
The Trachtenberg Election Verification System and Service is being provided free this year (2012) to registrars of counties interested in experiencing an independent verification of an election. A computer professional, familiar with TEVS, the TEVS software and people willing to rescan ballots are necessary to do this verification. In addition to the services of a computer professional and the software, the grant provides a stipend at $10 an hour for people wiling to feed ballots a second time into a scanner. All of these costs are being handled by two grants, one from the Institute of American Democracy and Integrity and the other from the Threshold Foundation. The transparency inherent in this system and service arrangement is in great contrast to the secrecy and lack of transparency that so often is typified in systems run by companies, like Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart InterCivic who insist on privacy and claim their systems as proprietary.