SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – Voters across the state will soon be introduced to a new voting process.
Thousands of new voting machines, called ExpressVotes, will soon be used to help voters pick their new elected officials.
Dorchester County is just one of the areas where these new machines will be used for all upcoming elections: mayoral and presidential.
“These machines will be used in all 46 counties in the state of South Carolina,” said Todd Billman, the Dorchester County Election Commission Director.
The steps to completing your ballot are very simple: First, you will insert a blank ballot into the machine.
Then you will select your choices through the touch screen.
Once you’ve reviewed and printed, you will then take your returned ballot and scan it.
From there it will drop your vote into a secure bin.
“I never really thought it was that hard to vote; I don’t think it’s going to make much difference,” said voter Brian Dales.
For many voters, they are welcoming this change.
“I like the idea instead of handwriting because there’s a lot of problems with my handwriting, if you want to do a write in, you do it- you do a type writer fashion so it’s printed and legible,” said voter Bill Loring.
Despite the optimism of voters, there are a few concerns.
“One of the things that people are worried about is that there might be some way to compromise or jam it,” said Loring.
But the election commission has that under control.
“The reason why this system is so difficult to compromise is because not only are you able to verify the information electronically, but you are also able to verify using the paper backup system,” said Billman.
“They’re not connected other than electricity, they’re not interconnected through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It covers the problem that a lot of people worry about,” explained Loring.
As an extra measure of precaution, voters are being asked to remember one important piece of information when printing.
“The piece of paper is for their records- it’s not for you to say, “look I voted!” Because if you carry it off with yourself, you actually did not vote. You need to have it inserted into the scanner and dropped into the bucket so that if there is a question, they can pull it out and hand count the votes again,” Loring said.
“I think it was instilled for confidence for voters because of the verified paper trail,” said Billman.
As a reminder, you need to be registered 30 days prior to Election Day on November 5th for your vote to be counted.
Elections officials are also asking voters to verify that you are registered. If you are unsure or you’d like to register now, you can follow the link here.