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Successful Roll-Out of Maryland’s New Voting System

April 29th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

Almost 1.6 million voters – or about 46% of those eligible to vote in the primary election – voted during early voting and on election day using Maryland’s new paper-based voting system.   To vote with this new system, voters either marked their ballots by hand or used an electronic device to mark and print the ballots.  Voters then fed their voted ballots into a scanning unit for counting and secure storage. 

 

State law requires a paper-based voting system, and the State Board of Elections selected a system that meets this requirement and other needs of Maryland’s voters.  It includes digital tabulating equipment and accessible marking devices for voters with disabilities to mark their ballots independently.  During 2015, State and local election officials had extensive training on the new voting system and received and tested thousands of pieces of equipment.   These efforts prepared election officials for the 2016 Primary Election, when over 2,500 scanning units and 2,056 marking devices were deployed to Maryland’s almost 2,000 voting locations.

 

“I am proud of how Maryland’s voters, pollworkers and election officials adapted to the new voting system,” said Linda H. Lamone, State Administrator.  “With instructions from well-trained pollworkers, voters marked their ballots and inserted them for counting.”   This voting system will be also be used in the 2016 Presidential General Election on November 8, 2016.

 

While voters, pollworkers and election officials transitioned to the new voting system, the voting system also performed very well.   On election day, less than 0.5% of the 2,500 deployed scanning units had reported issues.  Reported issues were quickly resolved by local election officials and technicians, and voting continued. 

 

The 2016 Primary Election also saw the implementation during early voting of same day registration and address changes.  With this process, eligible Maryland residents could register and vote at the same time, and registered voters who moved could provide their new address and vote.  Over 3,000 individuals took advantage of this new process and participated in the recent election.

 

For more information, voters may contact the State Board of Elections at 1-800-222-VOTE (8683) or visit www.elections.maryland.gov.

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