Harrison County Investing More in New Voting Technology

CLARKSBURG W.Va. — Harrison County will be using new voting machines to maximize efficiency and accuracy in future elections in the county.

The county will become the first in the Mountain State to begin using the DS200 starting in May. This machine uses Intelligent Mark Recognition (IMR) to eliminate guesswork for a ballot that isn’t clear.

Harrison County Clerk Susan Thomas said it’s the beginning of speeding up the elections process.

“We’ve been doing pretty good, but there’s going to be a lot of ballots to count in May,” Thomas said.

Thomas said this will cut down on the amount of time it takes to actually count votes once the polls close.

“I won’t need as much staff in the evening,” she said. “We’ll probably have to step it up in the day time because with new equipment comes growing pains for the poll workers.”

Training poll workers will now become the county’s top priority when it comes to the election’s process.

“That is of utmost importance,” she said. “I want to start that now–putting a plan together because they have to know how the machines work for them to work.”

Thomas added that she will assist any individual or group who is skeptical of the machines or unsure of how the process works.

“And I would be more than willing to take the new voting machines to any group and demonstrate them,” she said. “I’d be more than happy to do that to make them more comfortable with using them.”

The county commission voted on Thursday to purchase the machines that will be used in the May Primary Election at a cost of just over $1 million, to be divided up into two payments.