Travis County rolls out new touch screen voting machines

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Elections in Austin are changing as Travis County takes an important step in the transition to a new voting system.

A large shipment of new voting machines called ExpressVote arrived at the county’s East Austin service.

Travis County technicians are testing and calibrating the nearly 2,000 new touch-screen voting machines.

“It’s going to be a long card and voters are going to be asked to take a look at that card, verify the items that are on that card are exactly what they wanted and if so, then they’ll be ready to put that card into the ballot box,” said Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir

The county hasn’t upgraded its electronic voting machines in 18 years. One of the biggest changes comes in the form of a paper print-out so voters can verify their selections.

Travis County will be launching a public education campaign to familiarize voters with the new machines when they are used for the first time in the November 2019 election.

“These systems offer the best of both worlds. They give us the electronic support that we need to offer voters Vote Centers. On Election Day that allows voters to go anywhere they want that’s convenient for them, as well as early voting. Then, the paper part of the system that gives us the hard artifact that we can audit against,” said DeBeauvoir.

Back in October, the Texas Secretary of State sent out an advisory about voting machines — specifically the Hart e-Slate machines. The state says people reported machines changing one or more selections to candidates from a different party. 

Burnet, Hays, Llano and Travis counties used Hart e-Slate machines. 

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