Linn County unveils voting technology

Published: Jun. 7, 2016 at 3:29 PM CDT
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In January, the Linn County Auditor's Office received new equipment with the goal of making voting more efficient.

The office spent the last six months testing the new technology and putting new procedures in place for precinct chairs.

The new equipment was put to the test on Tuesday, during Primary elections.

"It's simple, easy," Cedar Rapids voter Jim Bradley said.

All 98 precincts have two new pieces of equipment.

One is a high speed ballot scanner that scans and calculates ballots instantly.

"It does have a screen that shows you what to do, where to put your ballot in and that your vote has been counted. Doesn't jam up like the old one used to," Precinct 15 Chair Kit Weber said.

The other new piece of equipment is geared towards disabled voters.

It's called the Express Vote. It's a ballot marking device.

It has a touch screen, along with headphones for those with eyesight problems. The digital machine marks the ballot for the person, then the ballot then goes through the scanner.

"And we're right here with to help them if they ask," Weber said.

Precinct chairs say only a couple people used the Express Vote during the first several hours of the primaries. Some hope more people will use this machine in the future.

"We encourage them to use it if they have any problems or just to make it easier," Weber said.

The new voting machines cost the Linn County Auditor's Office a little more than $825,000.