North Carolina: How did Guilford’s new voting system work? | Taft Wireback/Greensboro News Record

The votes are in, and Guilford County’s new system of hand-marked, paper ballots came through its first, full-fledged test without any major snags. Elections Director Charlie Collicutt said the new equipment worked well in Tuesday’s primary and voters adapted successfully to the shift away from touchscreen voting to paper ballots. “There was some apprehension early in the process because it is something different from what you’ve been doing for the last 15 years,” Collicutt said Wednesday. Voters came out for Tuesday’s primary in robust, if not record numbers: 112,728 cast ballots, or about 31% of the county’s registered voters, Collicutt said. That’s 5% below turnout for the last presidential primary in 2016 when 122,897 voters participated, he said. Once voting got under way Tuesday, the only significant drawback came from delays by state government’s computer system in displaying Guilford’s results online, Collicutt said. “The big issue was how slow the state’s website was,” he said. “The upload was so slow.” Guilford County spent about $2 million for its new voting equipment to comply with changes in state law that require systems to leave a better paper trail than the touchscreen terminals Guilford had been using for years. The new system relies on printed, multiple-choice ballots that voters fill out in ink and feed into a tabulator at their precincts.

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