Sneek peek at future

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 7, 2006

Next week, registered voters in each of the Roanoke-Chowan area counties will get a sneak peek at the future.

With the new HAVA (Help America Vote Act) legislation ready to put in place this year, every state and county across the nation had to comply with new regulations. Included in the HAVA was new voting equipment.

That equipment will be unveiled next week in Bertie, Hertford and Northampton counties. Elections officials in each county will host demonstrations of the new voting equipment that will be ready for use in the May Primary.

In Bertie County, officials will host a demonstration of their new equipment from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11 in the Board of Commissioners meeting room, located in the County Office Building behind the Bertie County Courthouse.

According to Carol Woodard, Chair of the Bertie County Board of Elections, all registered voters in the county are welcomed to come and try out the new equipment.

Bertie has opted for the Model 100 Optical Scan System with AutoMARK, a ballot marking device that is ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant.

As part of their new package of voting equipment, Bertie County will also feature lighted privacy voting booths at each of their precincts.

Those seeking additional information on the Bertie voting equipment or next week’s demonstration can contact the Bertie County Board of Elections at 794-5306.

Hertford County has also opted for the Model 100 Optical Scan System with AutoMARK.

According to Hertford County Board of Elections Director Shelia Privott, demonstrations of the new equipment will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11 in the County Commissioners Room. That room is in the County Office Building, located at 701 North King Street, directly across the street from the Hertford County Courthouse.

Privott invited all Hertford County registered voters to come to Winton and receive a first-hand look at the new equipment that will be used in all upcoming elections.

For more information, call the Hertford County Board of Elections at 358-7812.

Mary Anne Bolton, Chair of the Northampton County Board of Elections, announced a demonstration of the proposed new equipment for registered voters will be held from 10 a.m. until 12 noon on Wednesday, Jan. 11. That demonstration will take place in the auditorium of the J.W. Faison Administrative Building, located on NC 305 just north of Jackson.

Bolton emphasized that pursuant to the requirements of Section 301 of HAVA, there must be at least one accessible voting system at each polling place in the county designated for persons with disabilities.

She added that everyone was invited to attend the demonstration. Public comment is welcomed.

Additional information is available by contacting the Northampton County Board of Elections at 534-5681.