New voting system to be used in primary election
CENTREVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Board of Elections unveiled the new voting system that will be used in Maryland for the first time during the primary elections in April. A demonstration of the system and how it works was held on Wednesday, March 30, at the Kramer Center in Centreville. Board of Elections staff were able to show residents exactly what to expect when they come in April to vote.
The system is very simple, explained Board of Elections clerk Christine Jones. When voters arrive they verify their registration as before and receive a ballot for either the Republican or Democrat party.
“Voters registered as Independents or Other, do not vote in the primary,” Jones said.
The ballot, which is paper, is then taken to privacy booth and entries are recorded by filling in the circle next to the candidate you wish to vote for, she said. The ballot can be carried in a folder or privacy sleeve over to the optical scan unit and inserted.
Staff member Cathy Que- senberry agreed it is a fairly simple process. The scan unit that the paper ballot is entered into records the number of ballots read and the individual votes on each ballot.
The machine does account to some extent for human error, Quesenberry said. For example, if a voter “over votes” — or selects too many candidates — for president, the machine will ask the voter to verify their selection or give the option to return the ballot.
Corrections are limited to three attempts, said Jones.
Voters in Queen Anne’s County will also have access to a device that is ADA compliant for voters who are vi- sually impaired or otherwise unable to complete a paper ballot, said Jones.
Early voting for the Presidential Primary begins April 14 and continues through April 21. Polling places for early voting are the Kent Island Fire Department and the Kramer Center in Centreville. Locations are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Election day is Tuesday, April 26. Voters on that day will vote in the polling place designated by their precinct.
Jones said she is hopeful to see a larger than usual turn out.
“Other states have been reporting good numbers in the early elections, I hope that will be the same in Maryland,” she said.
Jones recommends making use of the early voting loca- tions and/or avoiding peak times on election day, which tend to be immediately before and after work and during lunch.
For more information or to register to vote, contact the Queen Anne’s County Board of Elections at 132 North Commerce Street in Centreville, 410-758-0832, or visit the website at www.qacelections. com.
Robert Arakelian practices inserting his ballot during a demonstration provided by the Queen Anne’s County Board of Elections at the Kramer Center on Wednesday,, March 30.
Ginger Arakelian of Grasonville views a sample ballot at the demonstration of Maryland’s new voting system at the Kramer Center in Centreville provided by the Queen Anne’s County Board of Elections.