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Clark County, Ind., Debuts New Voting Tech Ahead of Elections

Voters got to see a new voting tabulator, the ES&S DS200, and get an overview of how the machine works. Officials say the technology will add even more accuracy to the vote counting process.

(TNS) — Voters attended a session Wednesday about Clark County's new voting technology for Election Day on Nov. 8.

The event was at the Clark County Government building and was put on by Clark County Clerk Susan Popp to try to educate residents about local elections.

When voters arrived they got to see a new voting tabulator, the ES&S DS200. An overview of how the machine works, including a demonstration of the way people put their ballots inside, started the forum.

Popp said this new technology is an investment into accuracy in elections. There will be one at each polling location next month.

"It's more accurate to have a tabulator, to me it's trusted and verified," she said.

She gave an overview of Indiana elections to the attendees and touched on topics like voter IDs and absentee ballots. After that, the floor was opened to questions.

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 sent in the ballot with their vote.

"If your (absentee) ballot comes in that evening (on Election Day) when I go to scan it, it will tell me you already voted," said Angela Cornett who works in voter registration. "It won't make it downstairs (to be counted)."

Others also asked about election security and how the machines worked.

Popp said when someone puts their ballot into the tabulator there is a thumb drive that stores the information on it, along with an actual paper tabulation of the ballots.

After the polls are closed, bipartisan poll workers retrieve the thumb drive and the paper tabulation.

William Nesbit of ES&S was at the presentation and told attendees this technology adds security to the voting process.

"It's just more of a verification to make sure you have 100 ballots, when you put it in the election managers, all 100 came through because there wasn't any corruption," he said. "It should doublecheck. There's nothing wrong with a doublecheck."

Popp also touched on the poll pads at each voting location, which is a device that is similar to a tablet, that checks people in to vote.

The plan is to host two more events, one at the Jeffersonville library and another at the Clarksville library. The dates and times for those events will be determined soon.

"I hope everyone felt confident, just the fact there's so much oversight throughout the entire process and that the one thing people really want is to be able to do a hand recount," Popp said. "There's not a vehicle for that with the current state law. I would personally have no problem with that, there's not a way to do that. There's not a legal avenue to make that happen."

Popp reiterated that people need to check their polling location and registration ahead of Nov. 8.

"My goal as the clerk is to get people involved in the process and answer any of the questions they have," she said.

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