Training on new vote machines important for smooth elections

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 3, 2006

Lincoln County election officials have begun training sessionsto help educate citizens on how to use the county’s newtouch-screen voting machines.

Circuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins said the response so far hasbeen great and people have been surprised at how easy the machinesare to use. That’s great news, but it is still very early in theelection game.

This year’s federal elections are months away. The contests,which will likely draw little interest due to few races on theballot, probably won’t afford many voters the chance forfirst-hand, real-life experience on the new machines.

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The real test will come next year when state and county electedoffices will be decided and many voters will head to the polls. Toavoid any unnecessary headaches, it will be imperative that votersknow how to operate the machines.

Therefore, voters need to take advantage of the trainingopportunities being offered now by Watkins and the Lincoln CountyElection Commission. Training sessions have been scheduled forseveral precincts around the county and a couple of machines areset up at the government complex for people to use.

After years of paper ballots, there’s no doubt the new machineswill take some getting used to. But the more voters familiarizethemselves now with the new machines, the easier and smootherelections will go for all involved.