Commercial-News Editorial: Voting technology comes to Danville | Community
Illinois expanded voter access after the pandemic, a move that has come as a real surprise due to the national trend of efforts to suppress red state voters after the 2020 election.
But Illinois remains truly blue on the partisan spectrum, and voters will benefit greatly from that the next time they go to the polls.
Danville voters, however, will receive better attention the next time they vote. They have the option of using the new touch-screen equipment in their polling places, thanks to the new local addition of technology.
To be clear, Danville is not at the forefront of voting technology, Most Illinois polling places have touch-screen voting now and have offered that option for many years. In fact, Danville was one of the last to adopt this proven technology.
Instead of pondering the possible reasons for tracking the field of bringing touch screens to polling places, let’s say, it’s better later than never.
To those who oppose this change in process, we suggest they calm down. Anyone who still wants to vote by using voltage and ballot paper can do so. We hope that the majority of voters will enjoy the new technology and choose to use it. Touch screens are easy to read and use and aren’t intimidating in the slightest. And remember, most of Illinois, not to mention other states, has been using this type of technology for a long time.
The Danville Election Commission purchased 15 touch screens at a cost of $ 70,000 and will use them for the first time during the June 28 election.
The process is simple, as explained in a story earlier this week by Commercial-News reporter Jennifer Bailey. The machines are ballot marking devices that fill in ovals for a voter by touching a finger on the screen. They are the Americans with Disabilities who follow, with headphones available for someone to listen to names and ballot information when needed.
When a voter goes to the polls, a voting card is entered into the machine. On the screen, voters touch the name of the candidate or other contest option to be selected. If there are more candidates than will fit on the screen, a yellow bar will appear at the bottom of the screen, indicating multiple options. A voter can touch the bar to see the remaining candidates.
After each selection is made, a voter touches “next” at the bottom of the screen. One can also go back to the previous page by pushing “before.” If voters want to make write-in votes, they can touch the write-in option and use the on-screen keyboard to enter the write-in name. Then the voter touches “accept.”
When selections are made and confirmed, the voter touches the “print card” to print the completed ballot on the activation card. The voter then takes the ballot card, as has happened with ballots in the past, to enter into the counting machine.
Voting should be easy and accessible to all eligible to vote. Touch screens represent a step forward for Danville voters.