This is a bit of a re-run, but it serves as a good reminder to use that application for an absentee ballot you got in the mail if you are a registered Ada County voter.
Both Ada and Canyon Counties have switched to the new system and clerks fear a traffic jam at the polls November 4.
Hanging chads are a thing of the past for Ada County and Canyon voters–those familiar punch card ballots are being replaced by simple “legal size” paper 8.5 x 14 inch ballots.
These will be filled in with a black fine point felt pen and read with an optical scanner–like those old SAT and college tests we all remember where a “#2 lead pencil was essential.
The new system offers a “paper trail” and seems to be more tamper proof than various computer methods.
The punch card and stylus system is no longer used because there was only one guy in the country who knew how to fix the reader machines–the guy who invented it.
The paper ballots with blank oval boxes to be filled in are as simple as the new “booths” which are a cleverly designed pasteboard box which pops into an instant polling position.
The box booths will probably last only for an election cycle or two, but they only cost $3 and don’t require any assembly or electricity.
In addition to the Obama-McCain presidential race, it is a long ballot with county commishes and state legislative candidates.
Both county’s election officials are urging folks to “vote early” (but not often) to help with the expected delays caused by the new system and the lengthy ballot. Questions are being taken at 208-287-6860 in Ada.
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