The Tulsa County Election Board is holding a mock election from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Jan. 9-13 at the election board offices to give voters the opportunity to try out the new voting machines that will be used for the first time in the Feb. 14 school board elections.
According to a press release from the election board, the new voting system keeps the best parts of the old system—uniform equipment, standard procedures, and paper ballots counted by scanners—while utilizing technology to improve security and efficiency.
Voters still will mark a paper ballot by hand and still will be able to depend on reliable and accurate scanners to count their ballots. The new system is based on modern computer technology, accurately counts ballots, and offers additional security.
The new machines are also accessible for voters with disabilities. An audio interface allows voters with disabilities to cast audio versions of ballots independently and privately.
Oklahoma’s 20-plus-year-old voting machines and its computer system are outdated. For instance, spare parts for necessary machine repairs have become harder to find, and the technology is practically obsolete. The State of Oklahoma received funding for an upgrade of the state’s voting system under the federal Help America Vote Act.
The Tulsa County Election Board is located at 555 N. Denver Ave.