ELECTION UPDATE | New paper ballots working well in Trumbull


The first time using Trumbull County's new "deliberately low-tech" paper ballot system appears to be going well today.

Two voters leaving a polling place at United Methodist Church on North Park Avenue this evening had different opinions on whether low-tech is better or not, but both felt the new system was easy to use.

Bridget Rimar of Warren said it was easy for her switch over to a system that uses paper ballots filled in with a pen and then fed into a scanner, even though she didn't know she would be voting that way ahead of time.

When she saw the system being used, she wondered if the former electronic voting machines used for about 14 years were not working for some reason, causing her polling place to switch to paper.

She didn't have to ask anyone how to use the new system. "I just figured it out. I work at a preschool, so I have to be flexible," she said.

She didn't know the reason the county switched to the new system, but when told one reason was because some people feel more confident in that their votes will be counted correctly this way, she said she could understand that.

"I think especially for older people, this might be a little easier to understand," she said.

Mark Alberini, elections board chairman, said the voters elections officials talked to Tuesday liked the new system. From his point of view, a low-volume election like this one was ideal for making the change, Alberini said.

Elections officials said the electronic voting machines used last year were at the end of their useful life. Replacing them with new electronic machines would have cost $3.2 million to $4 million, compared to $1.3 million for the paper system.

Julie Bucci of Warren said she also didn't know the reason why she was voting on paper ballots this year and thought it was "a little archaic. I might as well have had chalk and a slate board."

She said she can understand paying less money for a voting system, but added, "How many trees are we going to kill" by going back to using paper ballots.

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