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New Voting Machines Previewed

New Voting Machines Previewed

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Alex Cabrero reporting Voting in Utah has pretty much been done the same way for years. Most areas of the state have used punch cards. But soon, some are going to see a big change.

Residents got a sneak preview of the new system at the Davis County Fair.

Bernice Potter and her husband James couldn't believe it when they saw the future of voting. James still doesn't believe it.

James Potter, Davis County: "I think it'll be a great deal if we all understand it. Until we understand it, i think it's going to be a mess."

The new machines are replacing punch cards, and Davis County will be the first in Utah to use them.

At their county fair, voters got to practice.

Bernice Potter, Davis County: "It's simple, if you just read it and study it, and i think it's a wonderful thing."

That's exactly what election officials want to hear. Elderly voters are their biggest concern because of the use of computers.

"If you would like to change that, just touch the ‘X’ and touch the one you want."

But for all the new whiz-bang technology, critics say the machines have messed up in other states.

Kathy Dopp, Utah Count Votes: "Human beings program those machines, and human beings program the ballot definitions, and so human being make errors."

Dopp is the leader of Utah Count Votes, a group concerned these new machines will record votes incorrectly. In fact, she says they've malfunctioned, shut down, and incorrectly counted votes in other states.

Kathy Dopp, Utah Count Votes: "I think people don't understand at all how democracy is in danger... More than any other time in history."

Bernice Potter, Davis County: "I don't think it is."

Still, we're all going to have to get used to them.

James Potter, Davis County: "If you read it, you'll understand it. If you don't read it, you can't understand it."

Election workers say to prevent a mistake, the vote is recorded four times: Three times inside the machine, and once on a paper ballot. But critics say if the machine messes up, the wrong vote will be counted four times.

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