DANVILLE — Danville’s 15,931 registered voters will have new touch-screen voting equipment as an option to use in the next election.
The majority of the state’s polling places have touch-screen voting. Danville is one of the last to bring this in as an option, according to Danville Election Commission Executive Director Sandy Delhaye.
Delhaye said voters who still want to use pen on paper ballots still will be able to.
“We’re not taking anything away,” she said about adding these machines.
She said the touch-screen machines are easy to read and use, with bright screens.
The cost for the touch-screen machines had been the holdup, Delhaye said.
The Danville Election Commission has purchased 15 ExpressVote Universal Voting System machines for approximately $70,000. Funding for the commission comes through Vermilion County.
The new equipment will be used for the first time during the June 28 Primary Election. Early voting starts May 19 for county board and other races.
The machines are ballot-marking devices that fill in the ovals for a voter with the touch of a finger to the screen.
According to the equipment company, the ExpressVote concept reduces voting time, enhances the voting experience and provides voting access for those who require it.
Delhaye said the machines are Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, with headphones available for someone to listen to the names and information on the ballot.
The voting card is entered into the machine.
On the voting screens, voters touch the candidate’s name or other contest choice to select. If there are more candidates than will fit on the screen, a yellow bar appears at the bottom of the screen, signaling more options. A voter can touch the bar to see the remaining candidates.
After each selection is made, a voter touches “next” at the bottom of the screen. Someone also can go back to a previous page by pushing “previous.”
If voters want to do write-in votes, they touch the write-in option and use the on-screen keyboard to enter the write-in name. Then the voter would touch “accept.”
When all selections are made, the verify selections screen will display a summary of ballot selections. If needed, a voter can touch the contest if changes are needed.
When done verifying selections, the print card screen displays. The voter then will touch “print card” to print the completed ballot onto the activation card.
The voter then takes the ballot card, as occurred with ballots in the past, to insert into the vote counting machine.
There will be one ExpressVote touch-screen machine per polling place, with 12 polling places in the city. There will also be machines for early voting and to serve as an extra.
Delhaye said they will be training election judges on how to use the new machines.
The machines replace the old AutoMark ones.
Delhaye said voters will have the option on how they’d like to vote. The election commission is excited to offer this technology.