The Maryland State Board of Elections announced Thursday, Feb. 4, a change to how the new voting system equipment will be used during early voting for the 2016 presidential primary election. For this election, most early voters will manually make their selections on paper ballots and feed the marked ballots into a digital scanner. Voters with disabilities may use an accessible ballot marking device at each early voting center to make selections independently. With this change, the voting process during early voting will be identical to the Election Day process. … As initially designed, all voters during early voting would have used an accessible ballot-marking device to make selections. The voter would then feed into a digital scanner the ballot printed from the ballot marking device.
The ballot for Maryland’s primary election, however, has a large number of contests with multiple candidates. The large number of candidates means that candidates’ names in at least 10 contests will be displayed on more than one screen on the ballot marking device, according to the board of elections.
After reviewing the final list of candidates and the number of contests with multiple screens, the board of elections decided to use hand-marked paper ballots.