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Casting ballots: Using the voting machine

November 23, 2010

By BRIAN HAWKINS
sdneditor@bellsouth.net

Oktibbeha County voters will use the touch-screen voting machines when they head to the polls for today’s runoff election.
Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
The results taken from the machines will be counted via computer at the Oktibbeha County Courthouse Annex after the polls close today. Absentee ballots will be scanned using a special machine during counting of the results Tuesday at the Courthouse Annex.
Any affidavit ballots cast on Tuesday will be counted by the Oktibbeha County Election Commission during the certification of the results on Wednesday.

How to use the touch-screen voting machine

Voters will follow this procedure when voting today:
• After a voter arrives and signs the poll book, poll workers will determine which ballot the voter will cast according to party preference.
• Using a specific machine, the poll worker will code the ballot onto a voter access card.
• The voter will then take the access card and go to the touch-screen voting machine, placing it in the slot as designated on the machine’s exterior and as prompted on the machine’s screen.
Once the voter hears the card “click” into the slot, the machine has loaded the ballot information for that specific voter.
• The touch screen machine itself will prompt the voter with specific instructions on how to vote and allows the voter to adjust the type size of the words on the screen and adjust the contrast of the screen for easier visibility. The machines also have a Braille keypad for blind voters.
• The voter will follow the instructions as prompted by the machine, touching
• Once the voter has followed the prompted instructions and cast votes in all races, the machine will then ask if the voter wants to see a printed verification of his or her votes.
If yes, a window with a paper roll with that voter’s choices in each race may be opened and read.
If the voter is happy with those choices, he or she can finalize the casting of their ballot by following the instructions as prompted.
• Once voting is complete, the voter access card is returned to the poll workers, who will recode it for the next voter.
Each individual voting machine is equipped with a memory card that will be brought back to the Courthouse Annex tonight and loaded into a central computer for the results to be downloaded and compiled.

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