Bay County is one of 15 counties in Florida with new touch-screen voting machines with audio capability.
Bay county’s supervisor of elections, Mark Andersen, said not to worry because they are already prepared, “if you’re hearing impaired, the ballot will be in an audio format where you can choose your race and it will remain secret within the machine itself and you will be able to cast your ballot.”
The ruling by a judge in Jacksonville says the state is not providing adequate polling machines for people with disabilities to be able to use without assistance. The supervisor of elections says Bay County has one machine available at its office and voters needing to use the machine can begin voting ten days prior to and election.
The tentative decision does not determine whether a touch-screen machine with the audio capabilities needs to be in every voting precinct or just require a limited number of machines.
Anderson says each machine costs about $3,500. He said, “you can't just go to Wal-Mart and pick up these machines, they have to be certified, they have to be verified, they have to be quality controlled check, you don't want a piece of equipment out there that's substandard."
If you have any questions about upcoming elections, check out its Web site at www.bayvotes.org.