Friday, October 18, 2019

Bexar County Elections Department Unveils New Voting System Before November Early Voting Begins

Posted By on Fri, Oct 18, 2019 at 3:04 PM

click to enlarge Bexar Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen displays a paper ballot produced by the county's new voting machines. - RHYMA CASTILLO
  • Rhyma Castillo
  • Bexar Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen displays a paper ballot produced by the county's new voting machines.
The Bexar County Elections Department unvelied a new voting system today, just in time for early voting beginning on Oct 21.

The new system is an upgrade from the old voting interface because it includes a secured paper trail for judges to verify digital ballots. After casting a ballot on a machine, voters will now be able to print a hard copy to place into a secured ballot box, which the department will keep for documentation.

"This new system is an answer to a lot of the conspiracy theorists talking about voter fraud," Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen said Friday at the Bexar County Elections Offices while showing off the new system. "People were demanding a paper trail so judges would be able to audit and verify elections afterwards. This system provides a way for us to do that."

President Donald Trump has made numerous unfounded allegations of voter fraud during his time in office. Recently, he stated that his 2016 loss in New Hampshire was the result of thousands of illegal ballots cast by out-of-state voters.

Officials with Bexar's Elections Department said such claims could be easily refuted with the new system, which came with a $12 million price tag.

"We've done our best to provide a failsafe, and it's well worth the investment," Callanen said.

From a voter's perspective, things will largely remain the same. Lydia Ponce, who's served as a voter judge since 2007, doesn't think the new system will complicate things.

"I believe [the new voting machines] will speed up the lines and the whole process," she said. "Voters may be a little apprehensive, but it should actually be easier for people to vote. It's like anything new, once you get used to it, it should be fine."

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