New way of voting begins in PdC for Spring Primary

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The Prairie du Chien electorate will notice a new way of casting their ballot at the polls for the Spring Primary Election Tuesday, Feb. 18. The city has upgraded its 14-year-old equipment to state-of-the-art ImageCast Evolution (ICE) tabulators.

Replacing the touch screen machines will be two optical scan tabulator machines that are federally and state certified. These will only accept paper ballots, which voters must fill out with a special felt pen provided at each voting booth. Everyone will make their candidate selections on paper and slip their finished ballot into one of the two new machines, which are easier to maintain, store and transport while reducing annual operating costs. The all-in-one tabulator and accessible ballot marking devices will provide voters clear messages and enable second-chance voting to minimize spoiled ballots. The technology takes a digital image of every ballot cast and it has simple image auditing capability if necessary.

The tabulators allow for shorter lines, because once a voter fills in the circles for all their chosen candidates, the machine reads single and double-sided ballots in all four orientations. It’s also consistent, so everyone is voting via the same process, and, in the case of a recount, all ballots are reviewed the same way.

At the end of Election Night, the two machines will calculate the votes, freeing poll workers from having to read all the ward specific machines and paper ballots.

Voters can be assured the machines are not hooked up to the Internet or wifi, and an impressive level of encryption keeps this a safe and secure process. 

For a three-minute video demonstration of how the new process will work, please visit the Courier Press and City of Prairie du Chien Facebook pages. 

If you haven’t registered to vote yet, please note that you can do so at city hall through Friday, Feb. 14. Voters may register on Election Day at the polling site. Proof of residence is required to register. 

 

 

***For a 3-minute video tutorial, click here:

 

 https://www.facebook.com/courierpress.newspaper/videos/191609918595961/

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