New ballot system takes effect this fall

2. Fill in the oval next to a candidate's name to cast a vote. The voter also may write in a candidate in the appropriate space.

3. Place the ballot in a privacy sleeve so that no one may see how votes were cast.

4. The completed ballot is fed into the scanner.

If the ballot is completed correctly, the machine will signal the ballot has been cast and the paper ballot is deposited into a ballot box. If votes have been cast for multiple candidates for one office, the machine will ask the voter to get a new ballot. If not, the vote cast for too many candidates will not count.

More history on the Help America Vote Act

Help America Vote Act of 2002 provided federal funding for states to replace antiquated voting machines to make voting easier and more secure as well as more accessible to physically disabled voters. By doing so, it required voting systems for a federal election must: (a) provide a mechanism for a voter to verify and, where necessary, correct his or her ballot, including notification of, and the opportunity to correct, any overvote; (b) produce a permanent paper record with a manual audit capacity; (c) provide for accessibility for voters with disabilities in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and independence) as for other voters; (d) provide for accessibility, consistent with the requirements of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, for voters with alternative language needs; (e) meet a specific error rate standard in counting ballots established by the Federal Election Commission; and (f) have a uniform and nondiscriminatory definition of what constitutes a vote and will be counted as a vote for each type of voting system.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or by calling (315) 598-5185.

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