New Paper Ballot Voting System Launches in Gloucester County
By Melanie Zayas, SNJ Today Reporter
NATIONAL PARK, N.J. -
Come Election Day, National Park voters will test new voting machines that produce paper records, which means it's out with the old and in with the new.
The ES&S Express Vote XL is a new paper ballot voting system that will be available to voters come Election Day.
Gloucester County is only one of three counties that has the system in New Jersey.
Due to concerns of election hacking, officials with the State of New Jersey released funds from the 2018 Help America Vote Act, which is an election security federal grant to establish a new pilot program.
“With this voting machine, it provides a voter verified paper trail," says Mark Harris, director of Election Operations. "So for every vote cast, the voter can verify the selections that are made before the ballot has dropped into the box.
"With the other machine, it is a direct recorded electronic and there was no paper trail.”
Harris says the verified audit trail provides a paper record of the election that can be used for recounts and audits.
This is what voters who cast their ballot on Election Day can expect to see.
“This giant tablet is really what it is — you make your selections on it, but it’s just a marking device," says Harris. "So your selections are then marked on [a] ballot ... and then they’re read through the scanner.
"There are two separate pieces of equipment — one to mark your ballot and the other one that reads your ballot.”
Stephanie Salvatore, Superintendent of Elections in Gloucester County, says she is excited to showcase the new technology county officials have been anticipating over the past year.
“I’m super excited about us having this voting machine," says Salvatore. "I think it's something that not just the residents of Gloucester County, but [also] across the country, people want the paper trail.”
To learn more, visit nationalparknj.com/boroughclerk.htm.