Maryland’s new voting system used in recent elections

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ANNAPOLIS — Over the last three weeks, Maryland’s new voting system was used successfully in recent municipal elections and a test election conducted by Maryland’s election officials. In each of the elections, the voting system Maryland voters will use in the 2016 Presidential Election performed well.

“These elections gave voters in Rockville and College Park the opportunity to use Maryland’s new system, and it was well received,” stated Linda H. Lamone, state administrator. “Equally important, these elections gave election officials the opportunity to conduct an election on the new system and use the new procedures developed for the new system. I am pleased that the system met our expectations.”

The City of Rockville used the new voting system to conduct two days of early voting on Oct. 24 and 25 and election day on Nov. 3. Over the three days of voting, over 6,400 voters in Rockville voted on the new voting system. During early voting, Rockville voters used a touchscreen interface to make selections and fed the marked ballot into a tabulator. On election day, voters marked a paper ballot by hand and fed the ballot into a tabulator. The City of College Park and Fairfax County, Va. also conducted their Nov. 3 elections with the same voting system. Reports from these elections show that the voting system functioned as expected.

During October, the State Board of Elections and the local boards of elections conducted a statewide test election with the new voting system. This test election enabled election officials to perform election critical tasks (such as preparing ballots, preparing the equipment for voting, casting ballots, and loading and generating election results) and follow new procedures and documents. State and local election officials found the test election to be extremely useful and important to understanding the new voting system and identifying areas where procedures and documents need revision in preparation for using the new system in the 2016 elections.

For the 2016 elections, Maryland will be moving to a paper-based voting system. The system, manufactured by Election Systems & Software, uses digital technology to tabulate paper ballots. Voters can use a touchscreen interface to mark their ballots or mark ballots by hand. All ballots – regardless of how they are marked – are tabulated by a digital scanner.

More information about Maryland’s new voting system is available at elections.maryland.gov.

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