Bay County elections officials are ushering in the 21st century with touch-screen voting machines. All it takes is the touch of your finger. No more hanging chads, no more over-votes.
"We've used it before during early voting. They weren't sure about it, but we showed them how easy it was and they said it's just like properly marking a paper ballot," says Mark Anderson, Supervisor of Elections.
At least one new touch-screen will find a permanent home at each of Bay County's 55 precincts. The move brings Bay County into compliance with state and federal laws relating to disabled voters.
"Someone who's blind can still come in and cast ballot in secrecy. If you have Parkinson's Disease this makes sure what you intended to cast is in the machine and if not you just re-try," says Anderson.
A small computer cartridge essentially replaces the paper ballot and holds all your voting information. The paper system isn't going away, but Anderson says this is a great supplement.
"We're one of the first to receive it. Florida is really shining. People don't realize how hard we've been working. It'll show," says Anderson.
If you'd like to test out the touch-screens before the next election, Mark Anderson will have a demonstration at the Panama City Mall the week of July 25.