While voters in New Hampshire went to the polls for real this week, hundreds of voters throughout the state of Oklahoma headed to the polls to test-drive the state’s new voting machines. The mock election, occurring in all of the state’s 77 counties this week, was designed to not only acclimate voters with the state’s new voting machines, but to also provide additional training to elections workers and to find any kinks in the process before the state’s March primary.
Oklahoma was ahead of the HAVA curve and had been using optical-scan voting machines for nearly a decade before the infamous election of 2000. The machines the state was most recently using were originally only supposed to last 10 years, but lasted 20 instead.
In 2011 the state spend $16.7 million to purchase the new optical-scan system (eScan A/T ballot scanner) and to lock in current prices for future needs such as software or training.
The new system is almost identical to the old optical-scan system with one change. Voters will no longer connect the arrows next to their candidate of choice—instead they will fill in the oval.
Full Article: electionlineWeekly.