How to use our Voting Machines
Voting is an easy process. As long as you are registered, you will be able to vote on Election Day. In this section, you will find all the information you need about how to vote.
- Know what to expect before arriving at your polling place.
- Practice using the voting system for your polling place with the voting system demos.
Indiana County uses the ES&S M100 Optical Voting System. It is a precinct based, voter-activated paper ballot counter and vote tabulation system. To ensure voter intent and ballot integrity, the M100 has the ability to alert voters to overvoted races or blank ballots.
Indiana County utilizes two forms of voting machine, the ES&S Model 100 and the ES&S AutoMark. If you would like to learn how these machines are operated and pratice operating these machines before election day. This link will provide two web based videos on both the ES&S Model 100 and the ES&S AutoMark.
Indiana County Voting Machine Demos
Upon entering the polling place, you give your name to the poll worker. The poll worker will then have you sign the poll book. The poll worker will issue you a ballot and you will then proceed to the voting booth to mark your ballot. Once you vote, you insert your ballot into the ES&S M100 scanner and your ballot will be immediately counted.
The M100 precinct tabulator is coded to detect and notify the voter when it encounters an over-voted race or issue on the ballot. An over-vote is when more than the allowed number of selections in a race or issue has been marked. An audio alert will sound and the display will indicate that an over-voted race or issue was detected and offer the voter two choices, “Accept” or “Return”.
If the voter selects Accept, the ballot will be counted, all properly marked races and issues will receive the appropriate votes, and the over-voted races and issues will receive an over-vote. The individual candidates or issue choices in an over-voted race will not receive any votes.
If the voter selects Return, the ballot will be returned uncounted, and the voter may contact the election official and have the ballot spoiled and receive a new one.
Under voting should not be confused with overvoting. A voter undervotes when he/she casts fewer votes for a particular office than he/she is permitted to cast. No ballot or vote will be cancelled as a result of an undervote.
ASK FOR HELP! If you are confused as to whether you have overvoted or undervoted, please do not hesitate to ask for instructions from an election officer.
Indiana County also provides in each voting district the ES&S AutoMark that allows voters with disabilities and other special needs to mark a ballot privately and independently when using an optical scan voting system. The ES&S AutoMark does not tally or store votes.
The Automark voting machine is designed to accommodate hearing impaired, sight impaired, and those confined to a wheelchair, allowing their vote to be cast in complete privacy, without the need for assistance. Certainly, assistance is always available for those who need it. This machine even allows a quadriplegic person to vote by the use of “suck/puff tube”.
Once the handicap person has voted, the AutoMark machine will mark a standard paper ballot with the voter’s choices, as any regular voter would. The handicapped voter will then process the paper ballot as any other voter would, placing the ballot in a privacy sleeve and then into the box. Again, assistance is still and will always be available for those who need it.