Posted at: 11/03/2009 6:21 PM | WHEC.com
Updated at: 11/03/2009 8:11 PM
By: Nikki Rudd
Say good-bye to the old lever voting machines. Monroe County Board of Elections officials say this could be the final year that you pull the lever to cast your vote.
New optical scan voting machines were tested Tuesday in Wheatland and Charlotte.
Basically, voters are given a paper ballot. They then fill-in ovals for the candidate of their choice just like those SAT exams you took in high school. The ballots are then put in to the optical scanning machine where the vote is recorded and the ballot is kept as a hard copy.
Monroe County Board of Elections Commissioner Peter Quinn says this could be the new method of voting for the entire state by next year.
"Could be the last year for our lever machines," said Quinn. "We've said that before, but I think it's getting much closer as we start to phase in this equipment."
Some voters liked the new machines. Others requested more privacy and pencils.
"I don't like them at all," said Winifred Ward of Charlotte. "I don't know what happened to the other ones. This is a very non-private way to vote."
Linda Carr of Charlotte says the new process was pretty easy but says the privacy booths could be a little bigger.
"It was kind of weird having people walk around you while you're doing it though not used to that while you're voting," said Carr.
The change is being made as part of the Help America Vote Act and is mandated by the federal government.
New York State decided to go with the optical scanning machine over the electronic touch screens.
"If all goes well I think NYS will review it, the courts will review it, and we may very well go forward as early as next year if not shortly after," said Quinn of the new optical scanning machines.