New Albany voters cast ballots on new touch-screen machines

They say technology is suppose to make things simpler, and today voters in New Albany-Plain Local School District put that saying to the test.

Voters cast their ballots on the school district’s $18 million dollar levy using the county’s new electronic touch-screen voting machines.

At the Plain Local Fire Station, the touch-screen ballots brought a few other changes to the voting experience: no curtains around the voting machines, and fewer lines. Voters also got a quick tutorial on how to use the touch screen from precinct officials like Clarence Rahman.

But somewhere around that stage is where things began to fall apart for voters like Ruth Lynam.

“Apparently I wasn’t touching it hard enough or something, because I had trouble with (information) coming up,” Lynam says.

And Tracy Thielee’s interpretaion of the directions for the touch-screen voting machines were not clear enough.

“I thought it was a little confusing because there was a lot to read,” Thielee says. “The instructions weren’t quite clear to me, but then when you’re through voting, and it says ‘review’, it’s not clear that you need to push ‘review’ to end it.” Linda Butler says the computers were user-friendly and made voting more effecient.

“I think this is much faster and simpler for everybody, I hope,” Butler says.

Precinct official Clarence Raham says it will take time to get used to the change, but voters will eventually learn to adapt to the new machines.

“I guess we’re creatures of habit. By being creatures of habit, quite naturally, something you’re not used to doing, you have your reservations, but I’m pretty sure once we start doing this on a continuous basis it won’t be a problem,” Raham says.

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