CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s most populated county is ready to transition to touch screen voting.
Kanawha County officials demonstrated new voting machines Thursday afternoon at the Kanawha County Courthouse.
Vera McCormick, Kanawha County Clerk, said the new machines will eliminate the cost of printing ballots and save time for poll workers counting those ballots.
“It would be easier to do our hand count at canvass because you all know it would take, sometimes, 10 hours to get our hand county done, so this will be much faster,” McCormick said.
The county has used optical scanner voting for several years. McCormick said there were issues with how voters filled in ovals on the ballot sheet.
“The ovals was always very light. We always got complaints on them, but that was the only way we could do it and make sure that it was counted,” she said. “A lot of voters would make checks and X’s and we always worried if they were counted or not.”
The new machines called “Express Vote” will print out a results ballot after voters finish touching the screen. Also, the machine includes a braille pad for blind voters.
McCormick said workers also won’t have to go over every ballot for write ins, which would save them time and money for paying employees.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said in a statement the new machines “makes the voting process much more voter-friendly.”