South Carolina voters will now use paper-based system

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FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) South Carolina now has a paper-based voting system to enhance security by providing a paper trail of every vote.

It’s the first new voting system in 15 years that involves touchscreen ExpressVote machines and locked ballot boxes.

After arriving at the polls and showing proper identification, there are four steps to the process.

  1. A poll worker will provide you with a blank ballot card to insert at the ExpressVote machine.
  2. Voters can start making selections by touching the screen and can cast a write-in vote through a touchscreen keyboard.
  3. Once all selections are made, voters can review their ballot and print card. The machine will tell you if there were too many candidates selected or not enough.
  4. Review printed ballot card and take it to ballot lock box scanner. Scan face down on green arrow where vote will be counted and dropped into a locked ballot box.

News13’s Annie Mapp spoke with Florence County Voter Registration and Elections Director, David Alford, about the new system.

“It’s what the people asked for. For years, we’ve been hearing that a voter needs a paper trail to back up their vote data and that sort of thing,” Alford said.

According to Alford, there are 369 ExpressVote machines in Florence County and 69 locked ballot boxes.

“These machines also show each individual election within the master election on the screen itself. For instance, if you’re voting for Governor, it’ll only have the Governor and the candidates in that office on screen, so you don’t get confused.”

For people worried about using the machines, there is help available. Voter Registration Representatives are hosting demos to show people how the system works.

  • October 19, 2019 -St. Mark AME Convention, Kingsburg, SC – 9 A.M.-1 P.M.
  • October 28, Lake City Library – 1 P.M. – 4 P.M.

Alford also offers his assistance to those unable to attend the demonstrations at 843-665-3094.

The first state-wide exhibit of the voting machines will be for the 2020 Democratic Primary in February.

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