GREEN BAY – If you live in Brown County, elections won’t be the same anymore when it comes to how you vote.
Municipalities across the county have completed the switchover to new technology.
Brown County is moving into the 21st century with these new machines. The old ones had scanning technology that was more than 30 years old, and replacement parts were hard to come by.
The new machines are said to be more secure and reliable. They will scan and record an image of the ballot and store it on a USB drive. That way, there is an electronic record in case something happens to the original.
Voters will continue to use a paper ballot; however, there will be some changes.
The biggest difference is you will fill in an oval, instead of connecting an arrow. And when you’re done, a screen will guide voters through the process of submitting a ballot.
“Just the fact that they will now have privacy, where they’ll be able to look at this computer screen, and it will communicate with them to let them know if their ballot voted correctly or if they need to make a correction,” said Brown County Clerk Sandy Juno.
The cost of the new machines, plus training workers to use them, was $600,000.
They will be used for the first time on Feb. 18 for the non-partisan spring primary. Brown County’s clerk says it will be a good first test run of the machines because it’s not a county-wide election.
Several other counties are also implementing the new technology, but none are in our area.