Washoe County and most other counties in Nevada, are debuting brand new, higher-tech voting machines this primary election.
The new machines are big touch screens that look, and function, a lot like giant iPads. That means no more double-eraser pencils, but you’ll still cast your ballot in much the same way with just a few new features.
The new machines are brighter and allow voters to enlarge the text to see better. Like their predecessors, they’re attached to a printer, which prints a hard copy of the ballot for review. Only now, that hard copy has a QR code rather than a bar code and saves a photo of the ballot for an extra redundancy.
Also like the older-tech models, the new voting machines have no connection to WiFi or the internet and no networking capabilities. Poll workers will still take the cartridges from the machines and physically transport them to election headquarters for counting. No data will be sent electronically.
“There’s no connectivity,” Washoe County Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula said. “There’s no WiFi. We don’t connect to any networks, and they are stand-alone. All that’s plugged in is the printer and the power cord and that’s all that’s ever plugged into these.”
To learn more about the new machines, how the registrar’s office is working to prevent ballot tampering, and what to expect as we head into the 2018 election, tune in for Face the State this weekend. It’s airing on Saturday at 4:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., and on Sunday at 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Episodes are posted here after they air.