Elections and voting in Boundary County will take a technological leap forward this year. Two months from today is the Idaho Presidential Primary election, scheduled for March 8. Boundary County voters on that day will find there has been a substantial change in how they cast their ballots. Up until now, ballots in Boundary County were counted by humans, and by hand. Four or five poll workers staffed the vote counting rooms. One worker would read each ballot aloud, one at a time, while a second worker observed closely as a witness to make sure the ballot was read correctly. Two or three other poll workers would tally votes as the ballots were read. After every 25 ballots, they would stop, and the workers tallying the votes would compare and balance their counts to ensure all were recording the same totals. Poll workers in the counting rooms were not allowed to leave the room until all votes were counted.
This system led to some long nights for poll workers and for county officials in charge of elections. “In years past, we have been in the office till 4:00 a.m. waiting for results from polls,” said Glenda Poston, Boundary County Clerk/Auditor/Recorder.
That shouldn’t happen this next election. Boundary County now has seven brand new electronic votescanner/tabulator machines, and officials plan to deploy those machines for the first time in the next election, which is the March 8 Presidential Primary.
So how will counting votes now happen, in 2016 and beyond, with these new machines? Here is the new scenario: You travel to your usual polling location, and check in and verify that you are a registered voter, just like in the past. You receive your ballot from the friendly election workers, proceed to the voting booth, and mark your ballot, all just like in the past. Once your ballot is marked, that’s where things change.
Full Article: Boundary County, Idaho, News.