Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

D. E. Sander


The electronic voting system (EVS) plays a vital role in today's legislative process. The system performs many of the tasks that normally could take hours to complete such as the displaying of daily events and totals, and the processing and printing of vote totals and motions. Since this is such a helpful design, it is used widely. Systems vary in size from those which are used in small city governments up to larger federal assemblies. Daktronics Inc. of Brookings, SD currently produces a larger voting system consisting of four basic components. They are the Central Logic Control Unit (CLCU), the votestore CPU, the voting consoles and finally the displays. Putting these items together, as in Figure 1, produces a large system that can readily store motions, bills, and vote totals, which can be printed and/or displayed in the manner requested by the operator. The main component of the present voting system is the CLCU. This contains the hardware and software logic for operational control of the voting system. One drawback of the CLCU is that modification is very time-consuming. Since each EVS ordered is unique for each customer, most of the costly engineering hours are devoted to the modification of each system's software and hardware. Furthermore, the CLCU is controlled by the RCA1802CD 8-bit microprocessor, which is relatively slow. It runs at a 1.645MHz clock rate and has a limited instruction set. This thesis will present a possible solution by using a different, and faster processor. The next element of this system is the votestore personal computer. This PC is tied directly into the CLCU and controls the files for storing the totals and the calendar-day items, such as motions and bills that are on the docket that day. Usually an IBM PC-XT with two floppy disk drives is used. One drive is used for entering the actual votestore program and the other is for the storage of the particular voting events. So the PC is only used as a storage device. When using a newer PC such as an IBM Personal System 2, there is sufficient processor power to handle both the vote storage and also the system control that is presently done by the CLCU. This thesis will present the idea of using the PC for both storage and system control. The next important component is the displays. They are usually large, wall-mount displays using a typical 20ma current-loop interface. Presently, the displays are capable of receiving their data from the votestore PC. This arrangement would take too much dedicated processor time from the PC if the PC also controlled the system operation. Therefore, an alternative display arrangement is presented. The last major component of the voting system is the voting console. Presently, it is three or more switches with dedicated cables connected to the CLCU for each console. Therefore, being utilized in this EVS transmitted to the CLCU acceptable in some respects, difficult at the customer little-multiplexing is before the data is Dedicated wires are but installation is location. A network solution that will handle the necessary data I/O to the voting consoles and displays is discussed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings


Electronic systems



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University