New equipment allows paper trail for every voter
By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- Brevard County will be one of the first counties in the state to feature new election equipment in this year.
The new equipment is part of a mandate made by the Florida Legislature that requires all ADA election equipment use paper ballots by the year 2020.
Lori Scott, supervisor of elections for Brevard County, said the new equipment will still be the same paper ballot that voters are used to, but the machine that reads the ballot after the vote will be something new.
"There will be a screen that tells you if something on your ballot is incorrect, like if you accidentally voted for two people or if there is a tear on your ballot," she said.
The new equipment will also offer a touch screen for voters with disabilities, which will then print a printable copy of their ballot, Ms. Scott said.
Brevard County was also among the first counties in the state to purchase optical scan equipment in 1999, before the 2000 election.
By the doing this, Ms. Scott said the county was able to avoid voter controversies like other counties had during the 2000 election.
"I'm very excited (about the new equipment)," she said. "Brevard has always been forward thinking for elections, but us also purchasing our equipment in 1999 means we now have some of the oldest equipment in the state. I expect this new equipment to last another 10 years for us."
Ms. Scott said there will be an open house before the Nov. 5 election this year to allow voters to become accustomed to the new equipment.
Brevard's voters will cast ballots using the new election equipment during the municipal and Special District Elections on Nov. 5.