Voters throughout all 25 municipalities in Middlesex County will soon cast votes with a new voting system that features a large touch screen and various language options.
The ES&S ExpressVote XL Voting System will roll out during the special school elections on March 10 in Edison and Woodbridge, and then the April 21 school election in New Brunswick, before being rolled out county-wide in the primary election, according to information provided by the Middlesex County Office of Communication.
“We are grateful that the Board of Elections and the county has committed to improving the voting experience for our residents,” Cheryl Russomanno, Edison Township municipal clerk, said in the statement. “Not only are these machines easier for our residents to use and more accessible for those whom English is not a native language, but the machines are safe and secure. This is a welcome step forward for Edison’s voters.”
“Woodbridge Township is honored to have been selected as one of the first municipalities by the Middlesex County Freeholder Board and Board of Elections to use the new voting machines,” John M. Mitch, Woodbridge Township municipal clerk, said in the statement. “We are confident that the 32-inch touch screen ballot, along with an opportunity to view a receipt confirming one’s choices before casting a vote, will be a welcomed change for our more than 60,000 registered voters.”
This new system, which produces an independent voter-verifiable paper record, replaces aging voting machines that lacked a paper record. It displays the ballot on a 32-inch touch screen and improves the inputting and counting of write-in candidates, according to the statement.
The ExpressVote XL also improves the Election Day experience for voters whose native language is not English. The system provides voters with the option of reading the ballot in English, Spanish, and Gujarati and offers full interpretative statements in each of those languages, according to the statement.
“Our new system allows voters even greater access to the ballot,” Thomas Lynch, administrator for Middlesex County Board of Elections, said in the statement. “This system is secure, accurate, accessible, transparent and easy for poll workers and voters to use. We will now be able to audit paper ballots to verify results. This will go a long way in providing voters and election officials the assurance that every vote is counted accurately.”
Along with Middlesex County, Union, Gloucester and Warren counties have adopted the ExpressVote XL voting system.
For more information about the new voting machines and to view a how-to video, visit middlesexcountynj.gov