Poll workers in Eau Claire County can now electronically submit voting results on election nights with equipment the county purchased for all 18 municipalities.
Voters will use the new equipment starting with the Feb. 20 spring primary election.
“We needed to do something different because the equipment we had is no longer going to be certified to be used in Wisconsin,” said Janet Loomis, Eau Claire’s county clerk.
With the county’s old equipment, poll workers needed to physically deliver election results from their polling place to the courthouse, Loomis said. The electronic submission element to the new equipment could make results available faster, she said.
Each of Eau Claire County’s 36 polling places received one DS200 — the equipment that counts votes — and one American with Disabilities Act-compliant machine. Loomis said the cost for each polling place was about $8,000.
Voters won’t notice much of a difference about their voting experience — they’ll still mark a physical ballot. However, instead of connecting an arrow on their ballot to indicate their candidate of choice, voters will instead fill in an oval.
“The voter is not going to see anything different,” Loomis said. “The ADA-compliant machine is a little different. The poll workers will have to assist (voters) at the beginning.”
The county’s previous ADA-compliant machine would print and count voters’ ballots, Loomis said. The new equipment will still print their ballot, she said, but voters will need to insert that ballot into the DS200 for it to be counted.
To find out what will be on the Feb. 20 spring primary ballot, visit bit.ly/2aAuGBC.
For information on polling places, visit bit.ly/2auBzdw.
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