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KCMO rolls out new voting machines for April elections

Posted at 4:57 PM, Apr 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-02 18:55:14-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri is rolling out two machines as voters head to the polls.

The first one is the OpScan.

“The voter will come in, he will fill out a ballot once the ballot is filled out, he'll insert it exactly how they would've inserted in the old equipment and their vote is tallied right at that point,” Director of Elections Shawn Kieffer said.

There’s also the ballot marking device.

“You can think of it as an electronic pencil,” Kieffer said.

Once you’ve made your selections, you print out your ballot.

“After they print out the ballot, they'll check to make sure they voted exactly for the items they wanted to vote for. It prints their choices out on this card which you could see,” Kieffer said. “Once they're satisfied that they've voted exactly how they wanted to vote, they'll come to the OpScan machine and they will also enter that into the OpScan machine and their voting process has been done.”

Right now, the Missouri Senate is considering whether to get rid of the state’s touch-screen machines, with concerns they might be prone to hacking.

Kieffer said, with these new machines, hacking won’t be an issue.

“There are no modems in either one of them. There is no potential to being hacked. That's something that we're very concerned with when we went through the RFP process to purchase these machines,” Kieffer said. “Nothing is ever recorded on this. It strictly just prints out your choices, nothing's tallied, until you come over to the OpScan machine and then everything's tallied.”

With these new machines, Kieffer expects faster results and an easier layout for everyone.

“It's making it easier for our people at the election board to code up, it's easier for our poll workers to administer there's just a couple simple buttons to open and close,” Kieffer said. “It's just going to be easier for the voters. They're going to come in, they're going to be checked in, they're going to make their votes and get in, get out quickly.”

Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.