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New Touch Screen for Public Voting Equipment

Public gets a demonstration of new voting equipment

Parker County commissioners and residents asked questions about how new election equipment could impact their voting experience during a machine demonstration Thursday.

Chris Moody, Texas sales and support director for Election Systems and Software, ES&S, showed attendees how the voting equipment worked and answered questions.

The first part of the process is signing in voters and setting them up with a slip of paper, which has printed the date, election and county. The voter then takes that paper to the Express Vote machine, slides the paper into the machine and makes selections on a touch screen. Once finished, the machine ejects the paper ballot, and the voter enters it into the DS200 tabulator to be counted.

The equipment keeps an electronic and paper record of votes. 

Parker County Elections Administrator Don Markum said more people are wanting a paper ballot, adding that the ES&S system would be better at ensuring voter confidence than the current system.

“It’s just the times we live in. People want that ballot in their hands,” he said. “For me as elections administrator, I want the latest technology that will make the voter feel secure in their vote, that every vote will count.”

The current machines were getting old and kept having to need repairs, Markum said. The county is expecting to spend $1 million to $1.5 million on the equipment. Licensing fees, training and support are also covered in that amount.

Election judge Bob Lewis said he and other judges want to make sure all ballots are valid.

“I, like every election judge in this room today, am concerned about the purity of the election,” he said.

Lewis said he liked that the machines seemed easy to use for both voters and election workers.

Marvin and Peggie Herring, an election judge and alternative election judge, tried out the machines before the demonstration began. Marvin Herring said the new equipment would make the process faster.

Peggie Herring said older people may forget to take their paper ballot and enter it into the tabulator.

Another voting equipment demonstration by vendor Hart InterCivic is expected to take place at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the Parker County Courthouse Annex meeting room. The public is invited to attend.

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