The computer non-savvy need not worry. One Columbia County Board of Elections instructor promises that electronic voting is simple.
lectured on electronic
at a Greater Columbia County Republican Women's meeting on Thursday.
Photo by Donnie Fetter
Speaking at the monthly meeting of the Greater Columbia County Republican Women Thursday night, instructor Mike Greenwell said the Diebold electronic voting machines introduced to Columbia County voters in November 2002 have simplified and quickened the voting process.
New technology allows voters to use a touch screen format to select the candidate of their choice and then move onto the next race. The new process greatly quickens the voting process, Greenwell said.
"Even for people not familiar with computers, it's twice as fast," he said.
In the July 20 primary, voters will receive one of three types of encoded memory cards depending on which primary they choose to vote in - Republican, Democrat or non-partisan. The cards contain the electronic ballot. A voter plugs the card into the machine, which displays each election.
Greenwell, computer security systems manager at Wackenhut, said voting mistakes can easily be corrected on the machine, which also allows voters a chance to view a list of cast votes before entering the final tally. However, once a voter reviews the final list and enters them, they cannot be changed.
The machine records the votes, clears the memory on the voting card and then ejects the card. Greenwell said voters must remember to remove the card from the machine and return it to poll workers or risk having their votes discounted.
"My numbers have to jive," Greenwell said. "If you walk off without (turning in that card) I have to cancel that ballot. The numbers have to matchup."
The Diebold machines also simplifies the process for elections officials.
"They make preparing for the election much easier," said Columbia County Board of Elections Director Debbie Marshall, who expects a 42 to 45 percent voter turnout for the primary.
"With punch cards, you had to actually assemble the process," she said. "With the memory cards, I just have to download the information from the server."
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