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Kanawha County tests new voting machines

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County election officials believes a new voting technology is exactly what everybody has been looking for.  The Express Vote machine marries modern touch screen technology to the old school paper ballots.

“You put a blank ballot in and it pulls it up, you mark on your screen the candidates you want to vote for and when you cast your vote, that paper comes out printed exactly the way you want it,” said Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick.

The machines have been approved by federal election officials and by the Secretary of State’s office.  Kanawha County officials tested the machines for the public Wednesday.

McCormick said the big benefit of the new system is the cost savings to the county.   The law requires counties to print one ballot for every voter plus five percent.  The county is required to keep the ballots for 22 months even if they are not used.

“This last election, we printed 130,000 ballots and 39,000 voted,” said McCormick. “We average about 50 to 60 cents a ballot, so if we had unused 90,000 ballots, we’ll save about $30,000.”

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