Whether you’ve voted many times over the years or this will be your first time casting a ballot, you might be wondering about the equipment involved.
Will you know how to use it? Will you know what to expect? Will the machine properly count your vote?
Rest assured, these systems are made to be user-friendly and easy to figure out. If you find yourself confused come Election Day (or at early voting), you can always ask a poll worker your questions.
In Michigan, the state uses Hart Voting Systems, Dominion Voting Systems and ES&S Voting Systems. Of course, those brands probably don’t mean much to you, on their own.
If you’re curious about what you’ll experience on Election Day, here are some steps:
1.) Go to this county map, provided by the Secretary of State’s Office.
2.) Search for the county in which you’ll be voting. The list is in alphabetical order.
3.) For example, try Oakland County. Click or tap on the county’s name and you learn you’ll be using Hart Voting Systems.
4.) This page will tell you exactly what that means: How to mark a Hart ballot (you’ll completely darken the box next to each ballot choice as shown), how to use a Hart Voter Assist Terminal, and how to work a Hart Verity Tabulator.
5.) You’d use a Voter Assist Terminal if you needed special accommodations for hearing, visual, physical and other disabilities. If you’re curious what this process looks like, check out this link.
6.) As for the tabulator, you certainly don’t need to know all of the following, but if you’re curious, here’s how the website explained the process: “Once the voter has completed marking his ballot either with a pen from the voting booth or by a ballot marking device (in the voter assist terminal), the voter puts his ballot in a secrecy sleeve with the ballot stub exposed and proceeds to the precinct tabulator. The voter should hand the precinct worker the application to vote who will check to see that the number on the ballot stub matches the application to vote number. The precinct worker will tear off the ballot stub and instruct the voter to feed the ballot into the tabulator.” And there you have it.
7.) See? There’s a good deal of information available online if you’re wondering about the system you’ll be using. The same details are available for the other systems, Dominion Voting and ES&S Voting.