Election Wrap-up

eSlate: It Worked!

The Chronicle took a small sampling of polling places on Election Day, and sentiment seemed to be that the new eSlate voting system was a popular success. Poll workers loved it and said there had been little negative feedback, a sentiment confirmed by voters interviewed. (And, as promised, the electronic system greatly sped up vote-counting on election night; final numbers were out by 10:30pm, rather than the 3am finishes of the recent past.)

There were a few doubters and failures, of course. A couple of voters expressed the common concern that there is no paper trail available to verify the authenticity of the vote count and wished they could have a printout made after voting to have proof of how they had voted. (At least one council candidate expressed similar reservations.) And poll workers at a couple of locations said that there was the occasional voter who simply walked away without casting a ballot.

But the election judges stressed that those incidents constituted a tiny fraction of voters. After an elderly gentleman at Brentwood Elementary struggled for 15 minutes to understand the machine, the judge who helped him said, "That was by far the hardest one I've had today." The voter said he didn't like the machine, but it wouldn't stop him from voting in the future. "I just wish I'd had a machine to study" before actually voting, he said.

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