Voters will use new machines for this week’s election

Director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections Jan Kelly demonstrates how to use the county’s new voting equipment.
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Director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections Jan Kelly demonstrates how to use the county’s new voting equipment.

Several counties in the Miami Valley have new voting machines, but changes to the process are minimal, election officials say.

Montgomery County rolled out new voting machines in the beginning of October with the start of early voting. With the new system, voters check in like normal and then can either use a paper ballot or choose to do the entire ballot digitally.

Once voters complete their ballot, it is printed and scanned into the ballot box. Montgomery County is not in need of poll workers, according to Board of Election Director Jan Kelly.

Officials in Miami and Greene counties also said they have a sufficient number of people to work the polls on Tuesday.

MORE: Montgomery County unveils new voting machines

Kelly said she will be interested to see how precinct workers feel after the election.

“There might be a change after this election,” Kelly said, “but the poll workers have been excited so far. The reaction has been positive.”

Miami County has switched to a paper-based system.

Laura Bruns, director of the Miami County Board of Elections, said voters have had positive feedback on the new system during the early voting period. Poll workers will likely find the new system easier to use too, Bruns said.

The new polling machines for Miami County print out a paper ballot, a voter physically marks it and then feeds it into the scanner. The scanner reads the ballot immediately, so it can notify a voter if they have made a mistake and they can go back and fix it, Bruns said.

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Bruns said voters might actually find the new system easier to use.

“You do see sometimes older voters hesitate on the electronic system, and we try to have detailed instructions, but with the paper ballot, you don’t have to teach most people,” Bruns said.

When voters get to the polls, things will likely look different, but check-in will be the same.

“And there will be people around to help and answer questions,” Bruns said.

Greene County Elections Director Llyn McCoy said the county also has new voting equipment, calling it an upgrade to the equipment that the county has used since 2006.

“The new screens resemble a large Android or iPad screen and are very user friendly,” McCoy said. “So far our early voters really like the voting equipment.”

Like the other counties, McCoy said voters can see that their vote was recorded accurately.

ELECTION DAY: Where do you vote? What’s on the ballot?