Congregates at the Aging Center will now be able to use the new voting machine of the Commonwealth Election Commission when casting their votes in next year’s election. Executive director Robert A. Guerrero of the Election Commission, Raymond Diaz of the Council on Developmental Disabilities, and Thomas J. Camacho of the Disability Policy & Programs Office were at the center yesterday to conduct a presentation on how to use the AutoMARK accessible voting machine.
“The new voting machine is going to be available in the next election,” Diaz told his audience composed of about 60 man’amko and 20 caregivers of the center’s homebound clients. Diaz said the machine allows voters who have disabilities to cast their votes using any part of their body instead of the traditional way of voting by pen and paper.
He said the machine “comes with several devices that will allow a person with disability to vote.” These include headsets, automated voice instruction, and a touch screen panel.
Diaz said that once votes are cast, the voter will be able to print his own ballot.
He emphasized that the presentation only aims to teach the man’amko how to use the new machine. “We are not here to tell you who to vote for.”
According to Guerrero, another advantage of the machine is that it doesn’t allow voters to cast votes for more than the maximum seats available for an elected position, avoiding the incidence of null and void ballots.
Guerrero said the Election Commission has four of the voting machines-one for each island and one backup machine “should something goes wrong.”
Full Article: Saipan Tribune.