We have new voting machines in South Carolina this year. If you haven’t used them yet, here’s what you can expect when you vote in-person. It’s rather easy…
First, you’ll check-in at the polling station just as you’ve always done in the past. Don’t forget your current driver’s license or some other valid government photo ID, such as a passport, state ID card, or military ID card.
After a poll worker checks you in, you’ll be given a long sheet of paper. This is known as your “blank ballot.” Before handing it to you, a barcode will be printed at the top. This barcode does NOT identify you, the voter. (There’s no way to associate any ballot with any voter. Nor should there ever be.) Instead, the barcode at the top of your blank ballot simply identifies which races should be displayed on your voting screen, which is a function of where you live.
After you check in and receive your blank ballot, another poll worker will direct you to a machine known as a “Ballot Marking Device.” It looks like a touch screen computer and it’s rather intuitive. You simply insert your blank ballot into the Ballot Marking Device. It will read the barcode and figure out what races should be displayed for you.
When using the Ballot Marking Device, you’ll make your selections right there on the touch screen. Most polling locations will a provide long cotton swap stick for you to use so you don’t actually have to touch the screen with your finger. When you’re done and are satisfied with all your selections, the Ballot Marking Device will print your completed paper ballot and return it to you.
Remember, the Ballot Marking Device does not actually record your vote. It simply prints all the choices you make for various offices onto your paper ballot, and then returns your completed paper ballot back to you.
This is where you need to double-check things…
After the Ballot Marking Device returns your completed paper ballot, PLEASE make sure you look through all the races you voted in. Double-check that everything is correct according to how you wanted to vote. If there are any problems or something doesn’t look right, simply notify a poll worker.
Once you’re satisfied, the final step is to insert your completed paper ballot into another machine known as the Ballot Scanner. This is where your vote is actually recorded, and there should be a poll worker there to guide you. Simply insert your completed paper ballot into the Ballot Scanner. It will read the selections on your paper ballot, record your votes electronically, and then it will deposit your paper ballot into a secure box below. (You do not keep your paper ballot. It stays with the Elections Office in case audits or re-counts are later necessary.)
And that’s it! Three simple steps: (1) check-in, (2) Ballot Marking Device, and (2) Ballot Scanner. The poll workers are there to help, so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you have questions about the process.
In-person absentee voting is taking place now through Monday, November 2nd, the day before Election Day. You can find your county’s early voting location(s) at www.AbsenteeSC.com or you can vote in-person on Election Day at your normal voting location.
*** Whether you vote early or on Election Day, please make this a priority!! It may be one of the most important things you do all year. ***
Additional Information: http://bit.ly/sc-new-machines
Photo ID Requirements: http://bit.ly/sc-voter-id-requirements
Early Voting Locations: https://absenteesc.com/