New Voting Machines with ‘Verified Paper Trail’ Debuting at Essex County June 8 Primary

by Deborah Engel
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Essex County voters will find new procedures and voting machines when they go to cast their ballots at the New Jersey Primary on June 8th. The County Clerk’s office released a video detailing the new voting system, which uses a “voter mark paper balloting system with a verifiable paper trail.”

As the video describes, voters will enter their polling locations, sign the poll book and receive a voting authority slip, as in previous elections. This year they will also receive a marker, a preprinted ballot and a privacy sleeve, and will be directed to privacy booths to fill out the paper ballots by hand. Voters will mark their selections, and should not be concerned if the ink bleeds through to the other side of the paper.  

“The ballot is designed so that bleed-through will not affect the scanner’s ability to accurately record your vote,” the video notes. 

Once the voter is finished making their selections, they will place their ballot into the privacy sleeve, walk over to their district’s ballot scanning device, give the poll worker their voting authority slip and insert their own ballot into the scanner. The ballots can be inserted into the machine in any direction, with the voter using the privacy sleeve to keep their private vote hidden from the view of others. The scanning device will display a “Ballot Successfully Cast” message indicating the vote has been accepted. Voters should wait for this confirmation before leaving their polling place.  

Voters requiring accessible voting should request an Audio Tactile Device which allows voters to listen to audio detailing the contest and candidates’ names and to cast their vote. 

This year two seats are up on the Maplewood Township Committee, with Nancy Adams and Jamaine Cripe running unopposed for the Democratic nomination and no Republican candidates filing to earn the Republican nomination. Governor Phil Murphy is running unopposed for the Democratic Governor nomination while four candidates – Jack Ciattarelli, Brian D. Levine, Philip Rizzo and Hirsh V. Singh – vie for the Republican nomination. 

Voters can view sample ballots for the Democratic primary and the Republican primary on the Essex County Clerk’s website. 

 

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