Aiken, first SC county to use new voting system

CSRA News

A new voting system is coming to South Carolina.

As part of National Voter Registration Day, the South Carolina State Election Commission showed demonstrations.

We went from a paper system to a digital system and now South Carolina is combining both for a more secure submission.

It begins with a blank piece of paper.

Spokesperson at South Carolina State Election Commission, Chris Whitmire, says, “they’ll insert their card and they will make their selections like they have done for the last fifteen years.”

Yes. That number is correct. It’s been 15 years since South Carolina has updated their system, but the Election Commission knew it was time for change for almost a decade.

“For the past seven or eight years we’ve been requesting funds to the General Assembly to replace the statewide voting system. Last year, the General Assembly appropriated those funds and we were able to purchase a new system,” says Whitmire.

So, we’re used to digital touch, but this system has a few extra steps.

 “So, this is the review screen, so this is the first time the voter will review their ballot. You get an exclamation point because you did it so fast at the top it said vote for up to two,” says Whitmire.

The computer will catch incomplete marks, doubling checking your decisions, but will still let you move forward if they were intentional.

“On the old system, you would have pressed vote and it would have recorded your vote,” says Whitmire.

But now, you print your card, triple check your choices, and head to the scanning machine.

“Now, it just scanned your ballot. It recorded your votes on a memory inside of the device and then it dropped your ballot into a locked ballot box down here,” says Whitmire.

The new machine has accessibility features to reach all demographics.

“It has an audio ballot for voters that are blind, or visually disabled. It has input for a sip and puff device, and the ballot marking device also keeps you from over voting, making too many selections, making your vote for that office not to count,” says Whitmire.

The first time this system will be used is October 1, for the house district 84 special elections.

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