White County will use paper ballots during the August election.
Administrator of Elections Dorcas Marcum said the switch was made to move away from the county’s older voting machines.
“You actually just come in and get a ballot,” Marcum said. “You choose which ballot you want if it’s a primary. Then you take that ballot and sit down at a table. We’re using tables rather than buying booths. The voter sits down at the table, marks their ballot, and scans it through a scanner, which keeps the count.”
Marcum said the commission went through a long search to replace the county’s 12 to 13-year-old machines. She said moving to paper was the most cost effective choice.
“Once we looked at the options and and cost, we decided paper ballots were our best choice,” Marcum said. “We used them in March. That was our first time using them, and we didn’t have any problems. So, we feel good about it.”
The way the scanner keeps up its tally, Marcum said, is similar to how older machines worked. At the end of voting, workers will face a similar process to count the total votes.
“It has a drive in it that the workers bring back on election night,” Marcum said. “We pull that drive out and read it just like we read the card out of the other machines. It’s a simple process.”
Marcum said paper balloting will be how White County votes for the foreseeable future.