With less than two month before voting starts in Charleston County, the public has not been informed that new machines will be used. We are happy the new machines will allow voter verification, but such transitions must allow more lead-time for voter training.
In 2015 Charleston County Election Commission Reports showed some precincts with 114% of the voters casting ballots. More voters voting than voters registered in that precinct is a mathematical impossibility and destroys the integrity and trust voters have in the voting process. It is hopeful that the new machines will address such problems. With the Charleston and North Charleston municipal races so heated a few votes could determine winners.
One of the notable changes voters will experience is the blank “ballot card” they will be instructed by the poll official to insert into the “ballot-marking device.” The voter will then select their choices and insert the card into a scanner. If the voter makes a mistake, they can correct it before inserting it into the scanner. Once the voter inserts the ballot into the scanner the vote is final.
Voter can expect a slightly longer process as the voters become familiar with the new system. The new machines are not tricky, but will require understanding how they work.
Overall the expectation is to have a voting process that gives is accurate and gives voters confidence their vote has been counted properly.
John Singletary, Candidate for Mayor North Charleston