MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — The integrity of voting is front and center in the national conversation right now, but in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Berkeley County is taking the lead in trustworthy ballot-casting.
Elaine Mauck, Berkeley County Clerk, said, “Our poll books used to be paper and pencil. Now they will be actual screens. And you come up and you give your name and it will say this is the right precinct.”
Along with reliability, voting will be easier, a departure from the early voting lines last fall where voters had wait times of several hours.
Gary Wine, deputy county administrator, said, “We have the opportunity to add more machines at the locations so the technology is newer and we should have more at each location so be able to move people through the process a little quicker.”
With so many new residents in Berkeley County, plans are to expand the current 66 precincts to possibly as many as 80, based on census data expected later this year.
“You vote and it will issue a card,” Mauck explained. “And it’ll show who you voted for. So that’s significant then you take the card over to the counter, put it in the counting machine and you get a receipt. So there’s no mistake.”
As for the old voting equipment, it’s being traded in.
Mauck says the new system will accommodate voters with disabilities.