By Dalia Diaz
Finally the long awaited voting machines are here and ready to use in the upcoming September 24th elections.
Last Saturday, City Clerk William Maloney and the Elections Department set up a session for anyone in the community wishing to learn what’s new with the machines.
Richard Reyes, principal accounting clerk in the City Clerk’s office, was very accommodating explaining over and over again from 11 am to 2 p.m. as people would come in to learn.
These are smart computers capable of rejecting ballots not properly filled out. For example, if someone marks the circle on two candidates in the same category where they were supposed to select only one, rather than void that position, it will return it immediately giving the chance to the poll workers to offer a new ballot and cancel that one, while the voter is still there.
One feature is that, in the event of a power failure, the internal battery will automatically turn on and it will continue working normally, the only difference is that a green light in front will turn red. Wilfredo Peralta thought it was a huge improvement and asked how long it could work on the battery alone.
Jeff Silvestro, president and CEO of LHS Associates, Inc. was available for technical questions such as that one said, “They could run from two to four hours on a change; long enough for the power to return or find a generator so elections will not be interrupted.”