Site Map
Voting News
Contact Us
About Us

is NOT!
associated with

New machine first to be considered

County sees the voting of the future

By JENNIFER LEARN-ANDES   Times Leader   04 December 2004

County officials got their first close look at an electronic voting machine Friday as it was wheeled into the Luzerne County Courthouse for review by the county's ion committee.

The five-person committee will examine about 10 more models in coming months to choose a replacement for the county's venerable mechanical voting machines.

The committee will ultimately recommend one or two models to the county Election Board.

The county will probably buy the machines in 2005 to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act, which requires machines to be ready for voting by 2006.

The model shown Friday sells for roughly $8,666. The county expects to need roughly 250 machines after polling places are consolidated in coming months. State and federal funds should cover most of the more than $2 million estimated tab.

Committee member Doris Merrill approached the sample machine in her motorized Jazzy scooter, impressed that it could be easily lowered and adjusted for her access.

She also liked the word pad at her fingertips that could be used to spell out the name of a write-in candidate.

Sequoia Voting Systems of Syracuse manufactures the model - a full-faced version that allows voters to see the entire ballot like they do with the lever machines.

The company also makes a version that requires voters to scroll through different computer "pages" to cast votes for various races. Such scrolling machines are popular in the western part of the country, but governments in the Northeast that are switching from lever machines tend to favor the full-faced versions, said Sequoia spokesman Larry Tonelli.

Tonelli said Luzerne County residents should have faith in the durability of his machines because Sequoia built the lever machines the county has been using since the 1930s.

The machine he presented Friday weighs 250 pounds and easily folds up to become more compact, compared to the bulky, 400-pound lever machines.

Since the paper ballot itself looks the same, the main difference is that voters push buttons rather than toggling levers.

Or voters can push one button to vote straight party.

Before they finish, voters can review all the lit buttons to make sure they agree with all their ions. If not, they can push on a lit button to cancel a particular choice, then choose again.

Montgomery County already uses a similar model.

The machine comes with headphones to guide visually impaired individuals. It features a 16-hour backup generator.

A public demonstration of all the machines will be held in a few months so the committee can see how people react to different styles.

Previous Page

Election Problem Log image
2004 to 2009


Accessibility Issues
Accessibility Issues

Cost Comparisons
Cost Comparisons

Flyers & Handouts

VotersUnite News Exclusives

Search by

Copyright © 2004-2010 VotersUnite!