Learning how to use New Electronic Voting Machines

May 2, 2006 -- Posted at 5:19 p.m. CDT


JONESBORO, AR -- All of the counties inArkansas are getting electronic voting machines. 

The “Help America Vote Act” required an overhaul of the state's voting equipment.

Craighead County officials received their electronic voting machines this past weekend, now, election workers are learning how the new voting machines work.

“This is our new DEA machine.  It’s electronic voting.  This is called a P.E.B.  It’s the cartridge that stores the ballot in it,” said Tim Albert, an election worker in training.

An election poll worker will use the personal electronic ballot or P.E.B. to pull up the correct ballot for each voter.

“At this point, as an election official, I will step back and just let you vote.  If you need instructions, it gives instructions at the top of that first page.  If you have any questions you can ask the poll worker,” said Albert.

Each race will list the number of candidates you can vote for.  The Ivotetronic system will not allow you to over-vote.

Voters also have the option of not voting in certain races.

“If you don’t want to vote for this, just leave it blank,” said Albert.

When you don't select a candidate in a certain race, you will be asked if you're sure before you continue.

Before your vote is finalized, you will review your ballot.


“Even at this point, if you decide you want to change your mind, you can go back and change your mind,” said Albert.

In addition to voting electronically, there's something else this machine does that's different.

“This is called a ‘real-time audit log’.  What it does is it logs everything that you do on it,” said Albert.

In Arkansas, we won’t have to worry about anything like the ''hanging chad incident" of 2000.  If there's a recount or any problem, there's a paper trail for each machine.


Craighead County will receive 22 of the electronic voting machines.  18 of the machines will be used, with the other 4 in storage.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Charlie Daniels announced that we will not be using the electronic voting machines for the early voting in the May primary.  One Machine will be available at each of the polling sites.  Paper ballots will be used as well.

Officials hope to have all of the kinks worked out by the general election in November.