Logan County Election Board preparing for new voting system

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Voters in Logan County will soon be heading to the polls for the February 14th Special Election and School Election and in the process will be voting with new scanners.

Logan County Election Board Secretary Erin Dorio shows how the new voting scanner works during a mock election. Photo By Chris Evans

The state Election Board is swapping out the older scanning machines that were introduced in 1992 with new scanning machines as required by the state. The state Election Board bought the new voting system for $16.7 million which includes software, spare parts and other products.

Secretary of the Logan County Election Board, Erin Dorio, said along with the new scanning machine, voters will mark their selections on their ballot next to the candidate’s name instead of the custom arrow. Another new feature Dorio mentioned was beginning this year, voters can use a black or blue pen to mark their selections instead of the normal black, sharpie type pen.

The new system will allow disabled Oklahomans to vote without assistance by giving them a narrow pad attached to the voting machine and with headphones. They will use a dial to scroll through the ballot and press another button to cast their votes using braille. The device plugs into the voting machine.

With the new changes the Logan County Election Board is offering a mock election on Monday, January 9 through Thursday, Jan 12 , between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at Broad and Vilas in Guthrie. Voters will have an opportunity to see the new voting machines and to cast a mock ballot prior to the February 14, 2012 elections.

The upcoming election will be the first election where Oklahoma’s new voter ID law will be taking effect. On this day, voters will vote in the newly redistricted Senate District 20 election, and will vote on the election of school board members.

The new voter ID law was approved by the people in the 2010 general election vote. Voters who do not have an ID must sign an affidavit and vote with a provisional ballot that will be kept separate from the other ballots until election officials can ensure the vote was cast by someone eligible to vote.

To determine the location of your polling place and see if it has changed is to go to http://www.ok.gov/elections/ppl/index.php. Other helpful information can be found on the state election board’s website at http://www.ok.gov/elections/, or contact the Logan County Election Board at (405) 282-1900.

District 20 Stat Senator Candidates:

Democrat – Magnus W.T. Scott Sr., 58, 313 Tolson St., Langston, OK 73050
Republican – Phil Berkenbile, 61, 24701 County Road 270, Morrison, OK 73061
Republican – Wayne Murphey, 55, 428 Brookside Dr., Guthrie, OK 73044
Republican – Ann AJ Griffin, 43, 4001 Highway 105, Guthrie, OK 73044
Republican – Chris Humphreys, 57, 2945 Walking Tall Drive, Guthrie, OK 73044

Candidates announced for Guthrie School Board Election:

Seat 1: Mark Swartzbaugh (incumbent) and Sharon Watts.

Seat 5: Tom Holtz (incumbent) unopposed.

Seat 7: Jerry Welch (incumbent) and Lorraine Nessman and Travis Sallee.

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