Vote counting accuracy has become a well-known issue in the vote collection process. Digital image processing techniques can be incorporated in the analysis of printed election ballots. Current image processing techniques in the vote collection process are heavily dependent on the anticipated, geometric positioning of the vote. These techniques don’t account for markings made outside of the requested field of input. Using various form dropout techniques, however, every mark on the form can be extracted and used by the machine to make an intelligent decision. Most methods will still miss a few marks and result in a few false alarms. This paper explores methods of voting between the results of the different mark extraction methods to improve recognition. To provide diversity a simple image subtraction technique is paired with a distance transform and a morphology based algorithm. The result has a higher detection rate and a lower false alarm rate.
Barney Smith, Elisa H.; Goyal, Shatakshi; Scott, Robbie; and Lopresti, Daniel. (2011). "Evaluation of Voting with Form Dropout Techniques for Ballot Vote Counting". 2011 International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition (ICDAR), 473 - 477. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICDAR.2011.101