The Scioto County Board of Elections held a mock election on Tuesday for voters to test out and familiarize themselves with the new voting equipment which will be in place for the next election.
From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. interested parties made their way to the rotunda at the Scioto County Courthouse and were given a personal step-by-step tutorial on how to operate the new machines which consist of touch screen pads.
According Scioto County Board of Elections Director Julia Gearhart many people showed up to take advantage of the mock election. “It was a constant flow of people very interested in the new machines that we will be implementing in the November election,” said Gearhart.
Gearhart said that the overall consensus on the new machines was positive. “Everybody was very pleased and was very surprised at how easy and effective the equipment was going to be to use,” said Gearhart.
Those testing out the equipment voted on several fake races selecting from candidates like Amelia Earhart and Albert Einstein, finishing off their individual ballot by answering the question “Was this machine easy to use?”
Tanya Aldridge who visited the mock election commented on her experience. “I think it’s great,” said Aldridge on being able to test out the new machines. Aldridge agreed that allowing the public to get comfortable with the machines prior to the November election was a good thing and would make people more willing to come out and vote.
Gearhart addressed one concern initially voiced by a mock voter who was worried these voting machines could be accessed through an internet connection. Gearhart stated that the voting system, including the server where data is created and placed onto the machines, is never connected to the internet, nor are the voting machines themselves. Gearhart stated that the devices are connected internally, and the voting data is stored electronically and retrieved through a USB drive.
Gearhart stated she was pleased with the turn out of the mock election, and said a machine is currently set up in the Board of Elections Office if anyone interested in testing the equipment was unable to attend Tuesday’s event.