Board of Elections hopes new voting machines will help Onondaga County leap into the future
Onondaga County is rolling out new voting machines as part of a $3.5 million investment in the future.
Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny said voters won’t notice a big change, but he hopes they’ll have a better experience.
"(The new machines are) smaller, they're quicker, they hold more ballots, there's less chance of paper jams,” he said.
The county is switching from Dominion Machines to Clear Ballot scanners. In addition to the written ballots, polling places will be offering a touch screen option that prints a thermal ballot.
Czarny calls the new machines a 20-year leap in technology. And he hopes by 2025, the county can offer a “ballot-on-demand” procedure. That would allow people to vote at any site they choose on Election Day, similar to how early voting works now.
"People work in different places than they live, and while our polling hours are pretty long, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., if you're out at work on lunch, and you see a downtown polling location near your job, and you just want to go vote, you can go do that," Czarny said.
Czarny said ballot-on-demand voting should help the Board of Elections staff polling places more efficiently, and long term, he said some of the smaller polling sites may be able to be consolidated.