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Officials, voters praise new system

Some citizens still prefer old method

Many Blair County voters saw Tuesday’s election day as a visit to the past as they filled out paper ballots.

The change was part of the county’s transition to a paper trail voting system to meet state and federal requirements and to replace the e-Slate voting machines used since 2008.

In April, the county elections board and county commissioners board voted to purchase a voting system from Election Systems and Software of Omaha, Neb., at a cost of $894,307.

On Tuesday, after voters made their choices, the ballots were inserted into a scanner to compile their votes.

“How simple can it get? It is much easier than turning the dial and pushing in numbers,” said Pat Hunter, who voted at the Geeseytown Fire Hall.

“I like it; it is like the old-fashioned voting system. I went to one of the classes and learned how to do it. I thought it would be much different,” said Ruth Ann Davies, who voted at the Frankstown Township municipal building.

County officials were pleased with the new system.

“We are very happy with how the morning went. Everything went quite smoothly. We had a few hiccups with passwords, but for the most part, it has been pretty smooth,” said Sarah Seymour, county director of elections.

Other voters at the Frankstown municipal building were pleased.

“It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. It just took a little more time. I can live with it,” said Lenora McGovern.

“It is a paper ballot. I thought it was easy to understand and complete. It was pretty straightforward and laid out,” said Janet Wasserman.

Other Frankstown voters agreed.

“It is different from the old one. I like this; it is straightforward. You fill it out and feed it into the machine,” Tom Rodgers said.

“It seems like it would be more effective in terms of having a backup. Sometimes the old-fashioned way is the best way to go,” Conner Gilbert said.

“It was good. As far as filling in the ovals, they needed a smoother surface to fill in the ovals,” Joseph Dick said.

Not everyone liked the new system.

“I would rather have the dials, that was more convenient for me. I forgot my reading glasses,”John Horon said.

“It was OK once I got started. I liked the old way better,” Robert Helsley said.

“I liked the old ones better. They will be better for keeping everything on a legal standpoint. It will be there if they need to go back and check things. You need to be accountable. We don’t need dead people and illegals voting,” said Roxine Copp, who voted at Grace Bible Church.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.

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