Election Machines - How to Operate Them
Sleeker and smaller, the new voting machines are easy to use. The biggest difference between the old large voting machine and new portable model is that there are no levers to flip. All you have to do to vote on the new machines is press a touch pad to place an “X” by your selection. When you finish making all your selections, a press on the large red “Cast Your Vote” button automatically records your vote.
The “Cast Your Vote” button replaces the old red lever that use to open the curtain.
When you go to vote on Election Day at your polling place (noted on the front of your sample ballot), the voting machine will look slightly different than the old style machine. You will go through a curtain and see all the candidates’ names laid out on the official ballot in front of you.
The face of the official ballot is identical to the sample ballot you received in the mail and you are encouraged to bring it with you for assistance. Voting instructions are on the sample ballot as well as on the official machine ballot.
To select a candidate you simply press the square button to the right of the candidates’ name and a green “X” light will appear to indicate your choice. You can change your selection by pressing the same box a second time and the “X” light will disappear. If there is a Public Question on the ballot, you also will vote for it in a similar manner by touching the box next to the Yes or No for each question.
In the past when you wanted to “write in” a candidate’s name, you used a pencil. Now instead you will use a keypad located in the bottom center of the machine, directly beneath the ballot, to type the person’s name. Selecting the “Write-In” button on the ballot for the office where you want to put the candidates name, type in the name of the person, first and last, one character at a time.
Once you’ve made all your selections and reviewed your choices, you are ready to record your vote. To do so, look for the red “Cast Vote” button, located at the bottom right of the machine, just below the ballot. This is the one button that you cannot change your mind on. Once pressed, your vote is cast and recorded. The machine will make a sound when you do this and you are finished. Simply walk out through the curtain.
The new voting machines can be adjusted to several different positions for handicapped individuals. Additionally, the rule is only one person in the voting booth at a time, although there are certain exceptions, for example, if you are helping someone who is blind. If you have a special situation, call the Board of Elections at 908-527-4121 before Election Day so you can have a smooth voting experience.
Be sure to remember to bring some form of identification with you each time you vote in the event you are “challenged” at the polls. If you cannot prove who you are, you will not be permitted to vote.
To get the “unofficial” results of the election, check our “Election Results” web page about two hours after the close of polls on Election Day.