Essex County is moving to a new way of voting in the next election, which in Verona will be the vote for Town Council on May 11. County Clerk Christopher J. Durkin released a video about it yesterday and Verona Municipal Clerk Jennifer Kiernan showed that at last night’s Town Council meeting.
In the new system, voters will be given a paper ballot that they will fill out and then scan into a machine that will tabulate the results. Voters will be marking their ballots with a Sharpie, which Kiernan says dries faster than an ink pen and doesn’t create a residue that might affect the reading machine. “There is no concern with which way you feed the ballot in,” she said, “up or down. The machine can recognize the vote.”
Kiernan also said that if there is a problem with the ballot, the machine pop it back out and ask the voter if he or she wants to correct that. All paper ballots are retained in addition to the machine-recorded count, and there is a digital back-up as well.
“It might take a little bit longer than just walking into a machine and casting a button,” Kiernan said, “but it is a more secure machine and the method itself is more traceable, and it has better paper trail than in the past.”
You can see how the new process will work in the video below: