Voters in the August 28th election are encouraged to utilize the Touch Screen Voting Machine instead of a paper ballot. Every precinct, including “early voting,” has one. While helpful for those who have trouble filling out paper ballots, e.g., those with physical or medical problems, the devices are definitely available to anyone who asks, says Gail Fenumiai, State of Alaska Director of Elections.
Advantages: If a voter misses selecting a candidate, or overlooks voting on an issue, the Touch Screen will ask “Did you intend to not vote here?” then give you the option to go back and do so. With a paper ballot, that omission will simply become a Non-vote. Before you hit Submit, Touch Screen will display all of your choices, allowing you to change your mind. A paper-trail is created; you’ll see it being printed. Bonus: if your precinct runs out of paper ballots (witness the mess in Anchorage last spring) voters can continue by using the Touch Screen.
For those who hesitate because “they can be hacked and my vote changed” — won’t happen. Touch Screens have been around for years and no “hacking” has ever occurred. Remember the same argument when we switched from hand-counting ballots to the current paper readers? Has reader-machine fraud occurred? Nope, not once.
Touch Screens are easy and fun to use. Try it!