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Ballot Delivery (BD) Use Case

READ-ONLY SITE MATERIALS: Historical voting TWiki site (2015-2020) ARCHIVED from

Security of Ballot Delivery Image 01

The purpose of ballot delivery (BD) technology is to deliver an appropriate ballot to a given voter via a ballot delivery mechanism (such as the USPS/mail system or alternative electronic transport mechanisms, such as email, website download, etc.). Most typically one will think of the need to deliver blank ballots to voters from a given election office. Paper-based absentee ballots are very common in this case. However, it is becoming increasingly common to encounter electronic blank ballot delivery, particularly in UOCAVA and similar contexts. In such cases, voters would be provided with ways to receive and access a blank electronic ballot, say, via their email, website download of the blank ballot, etc. Potentially voters receiving such an electronic ballot could receive it via many different possible personal devices, be they standalone personal computers, tablets, laptops, and/or “smart devices” (e.g., smartphones, etc.). Although paper-based ballots are typically transferred via “the mail system”, the trajectory of a given ballot in such spaces may include many different mail systems (USPS, military mail system) and differentphysical transport mechanisms (by land, sea, train, air, etc.). Over time, the use of voted ballot return (a.k.a., voted ballot delivery) has become more prevalent. Even though it has the same delivery/transport mechanisms available to itthe primary concern for voted ballot delivery is how to return voted ballots in a most secure fashion. So far, mail has been the transport mechanism of choice for absentee voters. Similar to BoD, voters and election officials may have various reasons to desire an ability to create or convert existing ballot representations into alternative formats.

Ballot Delivery (BD) Use Case Image 02
Ballot Delivery (BD) Use Case Image 03
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Use Case Scenarios

WHAT | Deliver appropriate ballot via appropriate ballot transport mechanism

HOW | Scenarios

  1. Blank ballot delivery: from EO to voter

  2. Voted ballot return: from voter to EO

  3. Multiple ballot representations

    1. e.g., QRCoded + human-readable ballot content (list of choices)

  4. Ballot conversions for ballot delivery mechanisms

    1. e.g., convert electronic to paper QRCode, deliver via secure physical transfer, convert to electronic QRCode, print on-demand

Request for Feedback

For each use case scenario, please address these questions:

  1. Is the use case scenario in scope for the Next Generation VVSG for development of requirements that will undergo testing and certification? or
  2. Is the use case scenario in scope to develop as guidelines for election officials and voting system manufacturers? or
  3. Is the use case scenario not in scope for this work?
  4. If different parts of the use case scenario fall in 1., 2., and/or 3. Please identify as such.
  5. Is anything missing?

Voting TWiki Archive (2015-2020): read-only, archived wiki site, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)


This page, and related pages, represent archived materials (pages, documents, links, and content) that were produced and/or provided by members of public working groups engaged in collaborative activities to support the development of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) 2.0. These TWiki activities began in 2015 and continued until early 2020. During that time period, this content was hosted on a Voting TWiki site. That TWiki site was decommissioned in 2020 due to technology migration needs. The TWiki activities that generated this content ceased to operate actively through the TWiki at the time the draft VVSG 2.0 was released, in February of 2020. The historical pages and documents produced there have been archived now in read-only, static form.

  • The archived materials of this TWiki (including pages, documents, links, content) are provided for historical purposes only.
  • They are not actively maintained.
  • They are provided "as is" as a public service.
  • They represent the "work in progress" efforts of a community of volunteer members of public working groups collaborating from late 2015 to February of 2020.
  • These archived materials do not necessarily represent official or peer-reviewed NIST documents nor do they necessarily represent official views or statements of NIST.
  • Unless otherwise stated these materials should be treated as historical, pre-decisional, artifacts of public working group activities only.
  • NIST does not warrant or make any representations regarding the correctness, accuracy, reliability or usefulness of the archived materials.


This wiki was a collaborative website. NIST does not necessarily endorse the views expressed, or concur with the facts presented on these archived TWiki materials. Further, NIST does not endorse any commercial products that may be mentioned in these materials. Archived material on this TWiki site is made available to interested parties for informational and research purposes. Materials were contributed by Participants with the understanding that all contributed material would be publicly available.  Contributions were made by Participants with the understanding that that no copyright or patent right shall be deemed to have been waived by such contribution or disclosure. Any data or information provided is for illustrative purposes only, and does not imply a validation of results by NIST. By selecting external links, users of these materials will be leaving NIST webspace. Links to other websites were provided because they may have information that would be of interest to readers of this TWiki. No inferences should be drawn on account of other sites being referenced, or not referenced, from this page or these materials. There may be other websites or references that are more appropriate for a particular reader's purpose.


Created August 28, 2020, Updated February 5, 2021