New Voting Equipment to be Tested in Milwaukee Tuesday

Milwaukee County officials will test new voting equipment on Tuesday, October 27 in a “mock election” at 2:00 PM at the County Election Commission office, County Courthouse-Room G10, 901 North 9th Street. County Clerk Joe Czarnezki and Election Commission staff will demonstrate the election results process as all 19 Milwaukee County municipalities “modem in” their “election results” from locations throughout Milwaukee County.

Milwaukee County recently purchased new voting equipment and the mock election will allow the county to test this equipment as if it were an actual election day. Municipalities will test the coding of the equipment on Tuesday, October 27 from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM.  At 2:00 PM the “polls will close” and all 302 voting machines will electronically transmit their “election results” to the county where they will be displayed in real time for the public and media to view. This process will be used in every election beginning in 2016. “The media and the public are welcome to come and view this process,” Czarnezki said.

The new vote scanner/tabulators are not the only change. Ballots will no longer be printed on card stock but on lighter weight paper, which will result in a cost savings. In addition, voters will use regular pens instead of pencils to mark their ballots, and voters will fill in the oval next to the name of the candidate they wish to vote for rather than filling in an arrow.

The new voting system keeps the best parts of the old system - standard procedures and paper ballots counted by scanners - while utilizing uniform equipment county-wide and technology to improve security and efficiency. Election night results will be modemed in by poll workers from all polling sites at the close of the election, which means nearly instantaneous elections results.

“There have been many changes in the election system over the past several months. We have new voting equipment and a new law requiring a photo ID to vote,” Czarnezki said.

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