These are the machines we used to use when I first started voting and up until the last election. Until the whole Florida debacle in 2000 I thought the entire country used them;
You'd walk in and pull the red lever and the curtains would close. There was a series of pull tabs. You'd pull down the tab for the candidate you wanted to vote for and when you were finished you'd pull the lever the other way and the tabs would reset, the curtains would open and your votes would be recorded. It was impossible to pull each tab for different candidates running for the same office.
They had a plastic numbered pull lock around a hole in the back so you'd know that nobody had opened the machine before representatives from both parties were present to verify the votes.
After the representatives had cut the tab and recorded the numbers A new plastic pull tab would be put into place and the number recorded in case a recount was needed.
Now we are using an electronic system that is much worse than the machines we used to use, IMO. IIRC, these are the machines that caused so much trouble in the election for Al Franken.
They give you a paper ballot and a small black magic marker type pen and send you to a table with dividers that make it so you can easily see the person's ballot sitting next to you.
Next to each candidate is a circle. You take the black pen and fill in the circle for the candidate you want to vote for. I had to look at the thing for about twenty seconds until I understood which circle was for each candidate and how the lineup for each office was placed to be absolutely sure I was voting for the candidate I wanted to vote for.
The pen they gave me was nearly out of ink but had enough, I think, to adequately record my vote.
I then take the ballot to a machine and slide it in, much like a credit card at an ATM machine. It keeps the ballot and tells you that the votes have been recorded.
Here's my problem with this. Electronic machines are hackable. A heavy power surge might wipe the hard drive. If you accidentally fill in the wrong circle what do you do? Do you ask for a new ballot and if so then all of the votes you've already made have to be destroyed somehow without anyone seeing them.
Some people's pens may be so out of ink that their votes for certain candidates aren't recorded.
If there is a close race like the Franken race was each ballot has to be hand counted by representatives of both parties who will argue over some ballots because the circle wasn't fully filled in and the circle for the other candidate is filled in a little more. So who did they intend to vote for? Well throw that ballot away. Hand counting is always less reliable than an old fashioned number counter, IMO. It also doesn't require a ridiculous number of recounts.
The county tried, I'm not sure they succeeded, to cut school nurses from the budget and yet are willing to spend money on a less reliable voting system.
This is not progress. Sometimes the best way is the old way. JMO
There my rant is over. GRRRRRRRRR!!!