WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Sedgwick County has a new $6 million voting system, and a new way to see your vote before it’s tabulated.
So far, election officials are pleased with how it is working.
“Yes, we are happy to announce it is going very well,” says Sedgwick County Elections Commissioner Tabitha Lehman. “It’s doing what it is supposed to do.”
It’s supposed to offer more transparency, in addition to bringing the county the latest machines and software for voting.
“And I think the (Sedgwick) county made a great choice. This is the state of the art. It’s the best of both worlds because you have a paper ballot, and you have a touch screen,” says Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. “So the person can see the touch screen and see the screen reacting where you can see the candidates. But then it prints out a paper ballot that has your choices on it. And then you get to physically place that ballot over here (tabulation machines) and see it delivered into the ballot box.”
Kobach says Shawnee County is also using the new machines that offer voters an actual paper ballot printout. Johnson County in the Kansas City metro area is planning on adding the machines in the next year.
Lehman says, with this being the first election to have the new machines online, training election workers was key to keeping things running smoothly.
“You know, it’s going pretty well. Of course, any time we are rolling something out county-wide, for the first time, we are learning,” explains Lehman. “We train all of our election workers and then learn we need to hit certain points a little better the next time we train. But it’s going very well and we are very happy with the way the process is going.”
Lehman says as soon as the special election for the U.S. Congressional 4th District is done, they will begin preparing for the next election.
“Work will begin tomorrow morning, so we are busy,” says Lehman. “But, the good news is the machines are working well.”