WHAT IS IT? Optical scan ballot reader.
HOW DOES IT WORK? Similar to the ballots that have been used for years in Wake County. The voter marks a paper ballot with a pen, then inserts it into a ballot counter that scans it and tallies the results.
WHAT IF THERE'S A RECOUNT? Poll workers can re-scan the paper ballots on a different machine or count them by hand.
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WHAT DOES IT COST? $4,995 per machine plus the cost of printing ballots. The county would only need one per precinct, however.
WHAT IS IT? An optical scan machine with an audio interface designed for the disabled.
HOW DOES IT WORK? Similar to an optical scan ballot, but the machine also has an audio function that reads the ballot out loud through headphones. The voter then pushes a button to choose. The machine prints a marked ballot for the voter.
WHAT IF THERE'S A RECOUNT? The marked ballots can be rescanned or counted by hand.
WHAT DOES IT COST? $4,950 per unit, but the county would only need one per precinct.
WHAT IS IT? Touch-screen voting machine.
HOW DOES IT WORK? Similar to an ATM. The machine walks you through the ballot, allowing you to make your choices and letting you review your votes before you cast the ballot by pushing a flashing red button. The machines can be modified to read the ballot out loud as well.
WHAT IF THERE'S A RECOUNT? The machine keeps a paper trail of every vote cast.
WHAT DOES IT COST? $3,395 per machine, but the county would need to buy four or five machines per precinct.
(Election Systems & Software Inc., Wake County Board of Elections)