2013-09-26 / Front Page

Outreach de-mystifies voting fears with pretend touch-screen ballot

By KIP BURKE
news editor


Poll worker Missie Goldman shows a reluctant Charles Goldman how easy it is to vote on a touch-screen voting machine at a Wilkes voting registration event last week. Poll worker Missie Goldman shows a reluctant Charles Goldman how easy it is to vote on a touch-screen voting machine at a Wilkes voting registration event last week. Wilkes County voters and potential voters got a chance to try out touch-screen voting machines last week, taking some of the mystery out of casting a ballot in the upcoming municipal and national elections.

“We had people who had never touched a touch-screen machine,” Registrar Debbie Anderson said, “but when we walked them through the pretend ballot, they got to the end and just started giggling at how easy and painless it was.”

Potential voters got to enjoy a fun sample ballot with candidates including Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, and even included sample questions like “Free Ice Cream for Everyone,” she said. “A lot of people have never voted on a touch-screen, so we wanted to use an imaginary election to show how easy it was to cast a ballot when you vote in person.”

Wilkes County Board of Registrars were on The Square Saturday, September 14, and at the Pope Center last Wednesday to register new voters and to make any needed changes in other voters’ registrations. For voters in the city of Washington, the last day to make changes or register for the November 5 Municipal Election is October 7, she said.

Advance voting for that city election will begin Monday, October 14 and goes through Friday, November 1. Registered city voters may cast early ballots in person or by mail, Anderson said. “The easiest and best way to vote is in person,” she said. “You will have 15 days, Monday through Friday, for nine hours each day, and there will be a Saturday, October 26, or during the 12 hours on Election Day to cast your ballot on one of the touch-screens.”

Voters need a photo ID to cast their ballot, and acceptable ID can include a Georgia driver’s license, even if it is expired, or a state-issued ID card, or passport.

Voting in person is preferable to casting a ballot by mail, she said. “What can happen with a ballot by mail? Your application or ballot could be lost or delayed in the mail. If your application isn’t complete and you didn’t provide us a phone number, we can contact you only by mail. Then, if you make a mistake marking your mailed ballot, the spoiled ballot must be returned and a replacement ballot will have to be mailed to you.”

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