CLARK COUNTY — Voters attended a session Wednesday on Clark County’s new voting technology for Election Day Nov. 8.
The event was held at the Clark County Government Building and was organized by Clark County Clerk Susan Popp to try to educate residents about local elections.
When the voters arrived, they were able to see a new voting tabulator, the ES&S DS200. An overview of how the machine works, including a demonstration of how people put their ballots inside, kicked off the forum.
Popp said this new technology is an investment in election accuracy. There will be one at each polling place next month.
“It is more accurate to have a tabulator, for me it is reliable and verified,” he said.
He gave an overview of Indiana elections to attendees and covered topics such as voter IDs and absentee ballots. After that, he opened up for question time.
People had questions about the absentee ballot process, specifically what would happen if someone who received an absentee ballot went to vote in person and also returned the ballot with their vote.
“If your (absentee) ballot comes that night (Election Day) when I go to scan it, it will tell me that you already voted,” said Angela Cornett, who works at voter registration. “He won’t get down (to be counted).”
Others also asked about election security and how the machines worked.
Popp said that when someone places their ballot in the tabulator, there is a USB stick that stores the information, along with an actual paper tabulation of the ballots.
After the polls close, bipartisan poll workers retrieve the thumb drive and paper tabulation.
William Nesbit from ES&S was at the presentation and told attendees that this technology adds security to the voting process.
“It’s just more of a check to make sure you have 100 ballots, when you put them in the electoral managers, all 100 were approved because there was no corruption,” he said. “I should double check. There is nothing wrong with double checking.”
Popp also referred to the voting pads at each polling place, which is a tablet-like device that registers people to vote.
The plan is to hold two more events, one at the Jeffersonville Library and one at the Clarksville Library. The dates and times of those events will be determined soon.
“I hope everyone felt confident, just from the fact that there is so much oversight throughout the whole process and the only thing people really want is to be able to do a manual count,” Popp said. “There’s no vehicle for that under current state law, I personally wouldn’t have a problem with that, there’s no way to do it…there’s no legal avenue for that to happen.”
Popp reiterated that people should verify their polling location and register before November 8.
“My goal as secretary is to engage people in the process and answer any questions they have,” he said.