Representatives from the Maine secretary of state’s office and Disability Rights Maine were at the Bangor Public Library on Tuesday to spread the word about Maine’s new accessible voting machines. First introduced during the June primary elections, the ExpressVote machines essentially are stand-alone units, each with a video display screen, a built-in ballot printer and attached controllers with colored buttons in various shapes with braille labels. The machines also are equipped with headsets for those who are not able to see or read ballots. “It allows people to vote independently and privately,” Jon Monroe, elections management analyst for the secretary of state’s office, said Tuesday while demonstrating how the machines work.
“The towns are pretty excited about this, too. They love the simplicity,” he said, adding that the units can be set up and ready for use in about five minutes.
Monroe said that the June trial of the accessible voting devices went smoothly. The handful of glitches that did occur involved power cords and were rectified without any downtime in the voting process.
Monroe said the state has a three-year lease on the more than 530 machines it has placed throughout Maine at a cost of about $700 apiece.