Operating an EIP-HCPB Sidecar

Here we will describe the process for validating a hand count by attaching an EIP Sidecar to that process.

Running alongside a New HCPB Election

First of all, you’re going to be voting twice. You vote like you would normally using an EIP–T* application on a device, and then you vote the same way on the paper ballot. This can happen in any order (device 1st or paper 1st), but pick one or the other for all the voters to make things run smoothly.

So here's how the process works:

  1. After vetting the voter, issue one paper ballot and one token to each voter
  2. Operate an EIP sidecar by completing a ballot twice: once on an EIP-T* app deployed to a device of choice, then again by hand using a paper ballot
  3. Take a printed screenshot of the digitally completed ballot and attach it to the paper ballot
  4. Hand count the paper ballots
  5. Compare the results

Obviously, this isn’t a race, the results for the machine count will be available instantly on each device. But speed isn’t the issue here, it’s more important that the results match exactly and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t.

Note: One problem with this approach is that the voter could sabotage the election by voting differently on the paper and the device. So obviously some process would have to be enacted to prevent this.

Here's a better approach:

Running alongside a New EIP-T* Election

Here's the best of both worlds, where we use HCPB to validate an electronic EIP election - and vice versa!

  1. After vetting the voter, issue one token to each voter
  2. Voter completes an electronic ballot once on an EIP-T* app deployed to a device of choice
  3. Print 2 copies of the digitally completed ballot (which effectively becomes a paper ballot)
  4. Voter picks up their copy of the paper ballot, the other copy is submitted to the HCPB Teller Committee
  5. Operate an EIP sidecar by hand counting the paper ballots
  6. Compare the results

Here, each EIP implementation is basically validating the other!

Running alongside a Completed Election

To properly attach an EIP Sidecar to an election that is over requires more thought and potentially more resources. First of all, if you are attempting to verify say a scanner, you will need to input the scanned votes into the sidecar. This can be accomplished either manually or electronically, but either one requires a significant investment in resources, either through manual entry or by integrating the system that was used to (in this case) scan the ballots via an EIP API (a software solution).

We will describe the first (manual entry) process here, the API approach is described on another page on this website called "EIP-Vendor Sidecars" (coming soon).

The Manual Approach

What you’re basically going to do here is enter the same votes that were recorded on paper into an EIP Sidecar and attach like before - but all input must be accomplished by hand, copying the paper ballot entries into the sidecar. Depending on the size of the ballot and the vote sample size, this can be time consuming. Another consideration is that human error is introduced any time data entry is performed, and so this approach may become impractical. Better to apply an EIP-Vendor Sidecar solution here.

Another consideration if a manual process takes more time than one is willing to invest, perhaps a statistically significant sample would be an adequate alternative (albeit at the expense of reducing public confidence).


  • EIP-HCPB means a Hand Count of Paper Ballots that implement the Election Integrity Protocol
  • EIP-T* means any EIP token-based implementation

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