Voters in Chadds Ford Township, and throughout Delaware County, will use electronic voting machines for the first time this coming primary election. Gone are the lever action machines.
County Council Chairman Andrew Reilly, in a training video viewable at www.co.delaware.pa.us/HAVA/index.html, said a federal law requires the change.
According to the video, the new machines make voting easier.
Voters open the curtain to enter the voting booth. The full ballot is laid out in front of the voter. Red lights next to an item indicate something that may be voted for. All offices and questions up for a vote are indicated by a red light.
To vote for a candidate, simply press the "X" button next to the candidate's name. A red light will appear indicating the selection made. Voters still have a chance to change their vote.
To make a change, voters should press the X in the box they want to change, then press the X next to the name of the candidate they do wish to vote for.
Write-in voting works the same way. To place a write-in vote, push the X next to "Write In." Then press the red blinking light at the top of the machine. A black shutter near that red light will open to reveal a piece of paper tape on which to write the name of the write-in candidate. Voters should use a pen to write in the name. Close the black shutter when finished writing in the name. The red light will go out.
Repeat the process for other write-in votes.
Voting on questions requires the voter to press the "yes" or "no" box next to the question. The questions are written next to the boxes.
Once a voter is certain he or she has made the desired selections, push the green "Vote" button at the bottom of the machine. Pressing the green button is how the votes are recorded.
According to Bill Lovejoy, director of public relations for Delaware County, the new machines make voting "easier than buying lunch meat at the Wawa."
Though the entire ballot is visible on screen, poll workers will lock out parts of the ballot so that in the primary voting will be restricted to Republicans voting for Republicans and Democrats voting for Democrats.
Kathryn Meloni, judge of elections in Chadds Ford Township's Southwest District, said all the poll workers in the township have been trained on the new machines, but questions should be directed to the machine inspector or judge of elections at the polls.