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Voters Weigh In On New Electronic Machines


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Despite concerns about the use of over 10,000 new electronic voting machines across the county, things seemed to go fairly smoothly at the County Registrar of Voters office in Kearny Mesa.

Except for a long lunch-time line that wound around the front of the building, the voters we talked to were fairly satisfied with how the process went today. A majority said they voted electronically, using one of the Diebold touch-screen machines. Many gave machine voting good reviews, saying it was both convenient and fast.

Patricia Silva: It was marvelous. It was easy. It was a snap.

Kyle Ries: I thought it was a lot better. I did it last time too, and I like how they even print out the ballot so you can see it all. You see exactly what you voted for. So, I think it's a better system than the paper ballots.

But some voters opted to go a more traditional route and stick with paper ballots. They said reports of glitches and general reliability concerns made them want to play it safe.

Humberto Sandez: I decided to use the old-fashioned method of writing in versus electronic ballots. I had heard this morning, I'm not sure exactly if there was a problem, but I heard that there were potential problems. And actually, as I was in there, one guy who was going to vote electronically came back with his card saying it had already been voted on, with his card ... with his electronic card. So that just gave me more impetus to go through with voting manually."

Anna Goldby: Um, that there just might be few bugs that they haven't worked out yet, so just wanted them to go through the time to clear those up and make sure that my vote actually was made accurately.

Registrar Mikel Haas confirmed there were some problems with getting the machines up and running on-time this morning. Poll workers only had about an hour to set-up the machines, which required some assembly. But Haas said the technical glitches were to be expected with such a new system. A roaming troubleshooter was assigned to every four precincts to help poll workers who had problems with the machines. 


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