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New Way of Voting Introduced in Upcoming Va. General Elections

Posted: Updated:
Digital scanner used to tally paper ballots Digital scanner used to tally paper ballots
James Nix, Charlottesville Electoral Board chair James Nix, Charlottesville Electoral Board chair
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Albemarle County and the city of Charlottesville are introducing a new way to vote in the upcoming general election. Come Nov. 3, voters will fill out a paper ballot and then feed it into a digital scanner for tallying.

Virginia passed a law in 2007 that mandates all voting precincts use paper ballots and digital tallying scanners if they purchased new equipment.

"There were some concerns that there would be some hacking involved that could compromise the election," said James Nix, Charlottesville Electoral Board chair.

In order to ensure accuracy when filling out your ballot, you should make sure you fully fill in bubbles and not leave stray marks but if you do accidentally mismark your ballot, you can always ask for a new one and the one that was fed into the scanner will not be counted.

If a recount happens, registrars say the paper ballot system should eliminate any doubts. 

"People have more confidence in a recount if there's actually a recount of every ballot," Nix said.

Polls open on Nov. 3 and absentee voting closes this Saturday Oct. 31.

Press Release from Albemarle County:

The Albemarle County Department of Voter Registration and Elections wants to alert voters that a new, digital scan voting system will be used in all County voting precincts in the upcoming November 3, 2015 general election. The previously used “touchscreen” voting machines have been replaced by the new voting systems as a result of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s mandate which requires jurisdictions move toward the use of digital scan technology.

With the new system, voters will mark paper ballots at marking booths, and then deposit the marked paper ballots into a digital ballot scanning machine, which will read the ballots, and drop them into a secure ballot storage bin. When the polls close on Election Day, at 7 PM, the election officers at the voting precincts will obtain the tabulated totals of votes from a results report that will be printed by the digital scanning machine. After the election, the paper ballots will be kept in secure storage for a period of one year, to ensure a voter-verified paper trail in the event of a recount.

To see the choices that will be on your ballot on November 3, check your registration status, and determine your polling location, visit www.albemarle.org/registrar.

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