HILLSVILLE – Voters in Carroll County will be using a new voting system in the Nov. 3 general election – paper ballots.
It all started in 2007 when the General Assembly banned local governments from buying touch-screen machines when it came time to replace existing electronic systems. They also wanted a system that would provide a paper trail.
According to Carroll County General Registrar and Director of Elections Kim Cloud, the county started using the touch-screen machines in 2005.
“The voters and the electoral board liked the touch-screen system but action by the General Assembly will not permit us to keep the system beyond this year,” Cloud said.
Voters will begin using a new eScan system on Nov. 3, which requires them to mark their paper ballots with black ink in the polling booth and then scan the ballots themselves into a machine.
Cloud said the votes will be recorded electronically and after the polls are closed, the machines will produce a tape showing the totals.
If a voter puts in a ballot crooked or if someone has voted for too many candidates in a particular race, the scanner will kick the ballot back out and the voter will be asked to try it again.
Cloud said poll workers would be available to assist voters who had any trouble.
The new machines will cost $8,000 each and the county has 15 voting sites and 18 precincts. Three precincts vote at the now-closed Woodlawn School.
She said they would also have to provide handicap acceptable equipment at each precinct.
Cloud said she didn’t think the new system would slow down the process of voting.
The Carroll County Electoral Board, which includes Dennie Shockley, chairman; Brenda Lindsey, vice chairman; and Brenda Diamond, secretary; along with Cloud, will sponsor an open house to preview the new voting equipment and answer questions on Tuesday, Oct. 6.
The open house will be held from 4-6 p.m. in the Electoral Board meeting room on the first floor of the Carroll County Governmental Center.