With the end of early voting quickly approaching and the General Election likely to draw 60 percent or more of the county’s registered voters to the polls, Leavenworth County’s chief election officer is urging voters to pay attention.
With the end of early voting quickly approaching and the General Election likely to draw 60 percent or more of the county’s registered voters to the polls, Leavenworth County’s chief election officer is urging voters to pay attention. County Clerk Janet Klasinski said her office staff and the county’s election workers will be, too, calibrating electronic voting machines used by the county both the morning of Nov. 6 and throughout that day, similar to what they have been doing throughout the early voting period that began Oct. 17. The calibrations are necessary, she said, because the iVotronic machines use a touch screen system to register voters’ choices. It’s for that same reason that she is telling voters to take the opportunity afforded by the machine to also double-check the accuracy of their choices. “It’s very important that voters make sure and look at that screen,” which appears after a voter has completed the ballot, she said. Poll workers, Klasinski said, also tell voters to review their choices before completing the process as they show up at the polls. The reinforcement of that message follows concerns from David Mamaux of Leavenworth, who said when he went in to vote last week he had problems with the machine he was using registering his intended choice for president. “I saw that my vote was a big checkmark on the Obama line,” though he had intended to vote for the president’s opponent, Mitt Romney, he said. Mamaux said he called a poll worker over but still had to try numerous times before his correct vote was registered. Mamaux said he thinks election workers need to do more to warn voters of the potential problems, either by putting up signs or calibrating the machines more often. “You may not realize they’re not accurate and you may end up voting for the last guy you wanted to vote for,” he said. Klasinksi insisted that errors like that have been exceedingly rare since the machines were first implemented in 2006 and added that she did not think Mamaux’s concerns should deter other voters from using the electronic machines. Though the machines, like paper ballots, are not perfect, Klasinski said that there have been few problems like the one that Mamaux voiced since they were first instituted. “I have worked with these machines a lot and I think that they’re very accurate,” when calibrated correctly, she said. In-person advance voting ends at noon Nov. 5 at the county election office at the courthouse.