Today, we answer this inquiry, "What would electronic voting mean at the Oct. 21 fall special town meeting?"
The ad hoc committee on electronic voting has been studying the topic, and discussed it in a press release Wednesday.
"Electronic voting will be offered for the first time in the Town’s history," the committee wrote.
"Upon checking in for the meeting, voters will receive a device similar to a TV remote control, although smaller and simpler to use.
"Utilizing this device, voters will be able to cast votes on each issue that comes before the meeting.
"Each vote will become in effect a secret ballot, and the time taken in the past for hand counts of close votes by teams of tellers will be saved."
Option Technologies International is providing Westborough with the devices for free for the Oct. 21 town meeting, the committee wrote.
OTI currently serves Wayland and other Massachusetts towns, the committee noted.
"Voters will be given an opportunity, toward the end of the Oct. 21 session, to discuss the experience, and express an opinion on the desirability of continuing to explore the option. If that expression is positive, OTI is prepared to repeat the demonstration, again gratis, at the March 15, 2014 annual town meeting. As part of the annual appropriations made at that spring meeting, the voters may have an option to allocate funds for continuing electronic voting in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014," the committee wrote.
The committee also answered the following questions:
- Will anyone be able to track how each user is voting?
- Is there a way to check the validity of the electronically-recorded vote?
- How secure is the system?
- I'd like to watch the town meeting on TV, and vote from home. Will that be possible?
Anyone with questions is asked to call Town Clerk Nancy Yendriga at 508-366-3020.