Harford County Elections Demonstrates New Voting System

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The Harford County Board of Elections is now holding demonstrations on the new voting system that will be used in the upcoming Presidential election. An article in the Baltimore Sun describes the changes.

The major change on Election Day will be a paper ballot, to be filled out by pen or pencil before being tabulated by machine. Early voters will have a slightly different process.

“Prior to 2004, that’s how we did things. We used what was called an [Optech III-P] Eagle and it was the same type of machine. This is basically the same system in terms of that process,” Dale Livingston, Harford’s deputy director for elections, explained from the department’s Forest Hill headquarters.

Once the voter completes the paper ballot, they will deposit it into a tabulator that will read the ballot and count the votes. The early voting process will be slightly different.

In early voting, voters will use a machine called ExpressVotes with a touch screen. They will get an activation card with an individual bar code to put into the machine and, when completed, the card will print out with all their choices. They will then carry it in a privacy sleeve to the tabulator, where the vote drops into a ballot box.

Demonstrations will be held at the following locations.

Upcoming demonstrations include: Havre de Grace Oktoberfest, from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday; McFaul Activity Center, from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday; Whiteford Library, from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday; the Democratic Central Committee meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 27; Norrisville Library, from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 27; and Joppatowne Library, from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 29.