Time to cast votes | SierraSun.com

Time to cast votes

Louise Caulfield, Sun News ServiceNevada County spent $250,000 to rent one Diebold AccuVote TSx voting machine for every polling location.

Citizens of Placer and Nevada counties can opt for a different voting experience when they head to the polls today and cast their ballots on new electronic touch-screen machines.Nevada County spent $250,000 to rent one Diebold AccuVote TSx voting machine for every polling location, and Placer County spent a whopping $2.5 million to purchase its touch-screen devices.I think it will go over relatively smoothly, and I think it will produce results for on-site ballots very quickly, said Judy Price Truckee Town Clerk. Of course, any time you turn on a switch for the first time there are bound to be things that happen beyond your control, and questions come up that you didnt know to ask.The machines look like computers on stilts and work much like automated teller machines, or ATMs. Voters insert a plastic card into the machine and then read along with on-screen prompts that guide the user through the entire ballot. Before submitting the final vote, the machine will print a ballot receipt for the user to review, before accepting that all the selections are correct.Everyone will be offered a paper ballot at the polls, said Kathleen Smith, Nevada County clerk-recorder. Those folks who want to use the touch screen will have to ask for it.The switch to electronic voting systems is one option that 25 counties in California have chosen to meet the requirements of the Help America Vote Act passed by Congress in 2002.I personally prefer a hard-ballot paper trail, and I think that some of the negative publicity about some of the touch-screen machines has caused the public to distrust them, said Jim McCauley, Placer County clerk-recorder.The touch-screen machines do print receipts and hold all of the voter information on an internal computer chip, but there was previous concern that machines could be tampered with or that they might be susceptible to malfunctions. So for those voters who arent feeling adventurous today, traditional paper ballots will still be available at all Placer and Nevada County polling locations. The Sun News Service contributed to this report.

Truckee Glenshire Swim & Tennis Club, 15726 Glenshire Dr. Glenshire Elementary School, 10990 Dorchester Dr., Modular 31 Truckee Donner Community Center, 10046 Church Street Northwoods Clubhouse, 11509 Northwoods Blvd. Emigrant Trail Museum, 12593 Donner Pass Rd. Truckee Donner Public Utility District board room, 11570 Donner Pass Rd.North Lake Tahoe North Tahoe Conference Center, 8318 N. Lake Blvd. Squaw Valley Fire Station, 305 Squaw Valley Rd. North Tahoe Fire Station #51, 300 N. Lake Blvd. Fairway Community Center, 330 Fairway Dr. Alpine Meadows Fire Department, 270 Alpine Meadows Rd. North Tahoe Fire Station #54, 159 Observation Dr. North Tahoe Fire Station #53, 5425 W. Lake Blvd.West ShoreEl Dorado County residents on the West Shore must vote by mail and must mail or must deliver their ballots to the Meeks Bay Fire Station at 8041 Highway 49 in Meeks Bay by Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m.

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