Primary to be high tech

Published 10:00am Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Local election officials are gearing up for next week’s June 3 primary election.

Escambia County Probate Judge Robert Agerton said voters and poll workers alike will notice changes at the voting precincts.

One of the biggest changes inside will be the technology used, while voters who find themselves at the table without ID will notice that voting isn’t as complicated as it once was.

“We do have new voting machines and new iPads for every polling place,” Agerton said. “The machines look like the others, but what they can do is what is interesting.”

Agerton said ballots will be fed into the machine in the traditional manner; however, new software allows for easier retrieval of voting data.

“It will help us get the results we need in a more timely fashion,” Agerton said. “We were able to receive the iPads from a grant, which are pre-loaded with all the voting information.

“For example, say you come into vote in a school board race, and one side of the street may be in one district and the other side another district,” he said. “That can be very confusing for voters. These iPads will allow poll workers to look the voter up by name and tell them exactly what ballot the voter needs.”

Agerton said the iPads also come with video tutorials for poll workers faced with common voting day issues.

Agerton also said recent changes in the voter ID law will make it easier at the polls.

“I was afraid that was going to be a problem for us,” he said, speaking of the legislation that required voters to present a photo ID before casting a ballot. “But, that got changed. If you go to vote but don’t have your ID, as long as two poll workers recognize you, you can vote regularly. Your vote will count, and it won’t be as a provisional ballot. That will help us a lot. I was really glad to see that.”

Voters should also be reminded that the last day to apply for an absentee ballot is May 29. The last day a ballot can be hand-delivered to the circuit clerk’s office is June 2.

“You can get your application online or here at the office,” Circuit Clerk John Fountain said. “Or, you can call and we can mail you one. Please remember, if you and your spouse are voting by absentee ballot, each ballot must be in its on separate envelope. That’s the law.

“And if you know you’re going to be out of town, don’t wait until the last minute to get an absentee ballot,” he said. “But if you can get to the poll to vote, go vote.”

 

  • mstreesrus

    Was there problems with the old voting machines? If not why are we fixing the way we vote? I have never had a problem showing a picture ID when I vote, why was this requirement dropped? I have questions about our vote being tallied correctly and am not concerned with the quickness of the tally, only the correctness of the tally! I think our country is being manipulated by experts and voting on tablets make this manipulation easy for them. I prefer a sharp pencil and a scratch pad to Ipads. We are being lead to Socialism/Communism by experts…

  • mstreesrus

    I voted today but my poll workers told me that a photo ID is required unlike what Agerton said in the article. They were surprised that he was quoted as saying that and commented that he was at the same meeting as they were…

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