Voters in Montgomery County will be the first to use some of the latest high-tech voting machines.
The black box sitting near the front office looks like a big trash can, but it's a high tech voting tool and Montgomery County registar Randy Wertz, says Montgomery County is one of the first statewide to have it, "Well all you have to do after you plug it in is then you just turn it on. You push the little button back here."
The electronic guts of the Unisyn OVO optical scanner sit right on top. Montgomery County will test out this 6 thousand dollar machine during the Democratic primary next month. Wertz says the new equipment leaves a distinguishable trail, "It gives you a paper trail of exactly what happened. Now this machine is superior to alot of opti scan machines because it takes a picture of the ballot."
Montgomery County has 3 brand new opti-scan machines sitting in a corner closet in the registrar's office, waiting for the June 11th primary.
Virginia's Board of elections has strongly recommending that each of the state's 95 counties convert to these optical scanners and do away with the controversial touchscreen machines, in time for the 2016 presidential election.
The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County has never fully trusted touchscreens. The new optical scanner isn't any faster and won't reduce wait time, but David Scheim with the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, says speed is not the issue, "You know when you place your vote, it's absolutely going to be counted, it's countable, it's a safe vote. Quicker isn't bettter here."
Mongomery County has 25 precincts, the first optical scanner will be used at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in Blacksburg. Wertz says when the next primary has come and gone, "Whenever we finish we are extremely happy and we do the dance of joy in the office. How's that go? Oh well I'm not going to show that on camera but we do do the dance of joy!"