From one voter to another, it’s easier to vote now.
The Laurens County Board of Voter Registration and Elections unveiled its new state-mandated voting machines to poll workers and other officials at The Ridge on Friday. Those who attended had their questions answered and even got to vote.
Not for president. Or a penny sales tax, even. It was just for fun. The ballot featured such choices as favorite kinds of barbecue sauce (mustard-based, of course) and ice cream, and favorite college athletic teams (it appeared that Clemson led the exit polling).
Would-be voters could cast would-be write-ins (yours truly wrote in “butter pecan”) in a four-step system that provides a paper backup.
Here’s how it works: (1.) Insert a blank ballot into the machine; (2.) make selections on a touch screen; (3.) review and print ballot; and (4.) review and cast ballot.
The scanner counts the vote, and the paper ballot is dropped into a locked ballot box.
Some have said they wanted take their paper ballots home with them, but that’s illegal because a voter could presumably show his ballot as proof and be paid for it. If anyone in the county wants to sell his vote, it will have to be done on the honor system, which is nicely ironic.
Though it’s easy as pie, and refreshments were served, pie wasn’t offered. In the interest of fairness, neither barbecue nor ice cream was, either.
The paper record of every ballot cast adds an additional layer of security against any foreign hackers.
Red-letter warnings prevent voters from overvoting, undervoting and makes sure they all vote just right, like porridge in “The Three Bears.”
Available options include an audio ballot with headphones, a Braille-embossed controller and assistive switches.
The machines automatically tabulate the votes, but in the event of close races that require recounts, election works can count the paper ballots manually.
Anyone with questions can contact the election commission or visit scVOTES.org.