Election workers in Contra Costa County this week are testing 300 new voting machines that they say will process ballots more efficiently.
Voters in the East Bay county come June will still vote with paper ballots, but they will feed them into the new machines when they are finished with the voting process. The machines will then scan the ballots and produce a vote tally at the end of the night without election workers having to handle the ballots by hand.
Thanks to the scanning feature with the machines, election workers will be able to digitally review any damaged or unclear ballots in a matter of seconds. The old process of reviewing ballots by hand usually took minutes.
Out of the roughly 1.5 million ballots submitted in Contra Costa County during the last election, approximately 40,000 had to be reviewed by hand due to varying issues such as voters incorrectly marking their ballots with the wrong writing utensil or spilling coffee on the paper.