Faulkner County’s new voting equipment arrived on the county clerk’s doorstep Monday.
“This is so much more user friendly,” County Clerk Margaret Darter said. “It’s going to be exciting for everybody.”
On Monday, detention center trustees unloaded 180 Express Vote systems, 72 Express Vote tablets and 30 DS-200s from two tractor-trailers into the temperature-controlled county building behind the clerk’s office.
Election Coordinator Teresa Horton said the new equipment “minimizes human error” in the voting process.
A voter will sign in on the Express Tablets which then prints that voter’s ballot.
“A person is not pulling their ballot,” Horton said. “Before, the [poll workers] wrote down the ballot number. Now, it comes off the Express Vote when they sign into the registration system. [Poll workers are] not reading and pulling up a wrong ballot for someone.”
The voter then takes the ballot to the Express Vote machine to cast the ballot. After reviewing the ballot, the voter will be asked to check a box if everything is correct and the machine will print the ballot. Horton said voters will especially enjoy that feature.
“The voter will get to see what they’ve chosen — visually see it on a piece of paper — before they insert it into a tabulator. A lot of people like that,” she said. “Then, they walk over to the DS-200 as they’re going out and insert it and that’s the tabulator.”
Everything is stored on a secure thumb drive, she said, noting the thumb drives are equipped so that “none of the information can be taken off them unless you have the program to read them.”
Horton and Darter attended coding training already. The poll books will be set up Thursday and Friday and county clerk officials will be trained on the machines on Aug. 14 and 15.
The new equipment will be used by the public for the first time during the annual school election in September.
County clerk officials will demonstrate the equipment for the school election on Aug. 25.