SPRINGFIELD, NJ - At Tuesday night's Springfield Township Committee meeting, members of the community in attendance received a firsthand demonstration of the new voting machines going county-wide for this November's general election.
As part of a whistlestop tour across all the municipalities in the county, county board of elections administrator Nicole DiRado was in Springfield to show the machine off to attendees at the meeting.
"it's important to educate the electorate before they get to election day and see a new machine," DiRado said. "In order to make election day go as smoothly as possible, we are doing our best with voter outreach...also, with the low turnout year it's expected to be will help the poll workers become more comfortable with the machine during the course of the day."
"So it was important that we roll it out this year," she added. "Otherwise we would likely have to wait until after the gubernatorial election and look to roll it out in 2022. So this is the perfect time for us to do it."
While TAPinto Springfield was not allowed to take pictures of the machines, due to a mandate from the state attorney general's office, DiRado was free to discuss the machine, noting that it has multiple backups, including a physically secured paper trail.
The fact that we are out there, bringing our machine everywhere shows that we are trying to be as transparent as possible," DiRado said. "The voter verified paper audit trail will help with recounts."
"A lot of people have a lot of concern that seniors are not going to be happy with the new technology. Not only are they very familiar with the technology...but they love at the end of the day, that it comes back to the paper, and that they can see their vote. That was never the case before statewide."
After the demonstration in the township committee chambers, the machine was wheeled out into the hallway, where attendees could try it out themselves. For those who missed the meeting, there will be two more chances to try out the machine before the general election.
The booth will be set up during the Fall Festival in Patriot Park on Oct. 6 starting at 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and a demonstration will be held in the Springfield Library meeting room on Oct. 15from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.