Voting goes high-tech - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Voting goes high-tech

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August 12, 2002

The way you cast your vote is changing come November. And, the new voting system will be on display during next Tuesday's primary election.

Georgia adopted an electronic voting system. Now, Casting your ballot will require only a touch. Paper voting ballots will soon be a thing of the past. In November, you'll use a touch-screen computer to cast your vote.

Voting Superintendent Carolyn Hatcher says don't let the new technology scare you away from the polls. "The new machines are simply to use. Just follow the directions," said Hatcher.

To vote, you must insert a card into the computer, read and follow the directions, touch the name of the candidate of your choice, and press a cast ballot icon on the screen when you're finished. You can even go back and correct any mistakes you've made, before casting your ballot.

You'll be able to practice on the machines at the August 20th primary election. But, your actual vote will still be cast on the current ballots.

Belma Walker came out to the government center today to check out the voting machine on display in the lobby. "I was nervous about the machine at first. But, they are simply to use. I do suggest familiarizing yourself with the computer before the November election," said Walker.

The state gave Dougherty County 200 machines, the county must buy any additional machine at about $3,000 a pop. But, Hatcher says she expects the overall cost to go down, thanks to these machine. "We'll save money on paper, one of our biggest cost."

Trained poll workers will be on hand to help you cast your vote in the November election. The visually impaired can vote on the machines by plugging in a headset and using a hand pad to cast their vote.