County Serves as Pilot For April 20 Elections

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Voters in Buena Borough and Buena Vista Township will get a sneak peek at the future of New Jersey elections during the April 20 school and fire district elections.

Ballots for the two towns will be displayed on new electronic voting machines featuring a paper-verified audit trail. Voters will also check in using an electronic poll book (epoll book) rather than the normal paper book.

“We’re excited to showcase this new technology in the western portion of Atlantic County,” Atlantic County Superintendent of Elections and Commissioner of Registration Maureen Bugdon said in a news release.

“This is particularly exciting given our first responders, school officials and their communities will have the first opportunity to experience epoll books and electronic machines on behalf of our county. It is the first time a New Jersey county will offer both technologies in a live school/fire elections event, so it’s certainly an important milestone,” Bugdon added.

These “pilot” elections, made possible through a federal HAVA grant, will preview technology similar to what all county voters can expect with the implementation of the early voting for the General Election in November. The equipment being used includes a suite of products by Electronic Systems & Software of Nebraska.

“We are honored to serve and partner in this pilot opportunity,” ES&S Regional Vice President of Sales Mac Beeson said in the release. “These election tools are the latest in secure voting technology. We look forward to working with Atlantic County election officials as they continue to take strides in enhancing the voting experience.”

“I commend everyone involved in this trial run of the early voting equipment. This is the wave of the future, and this pilot will go a long way in preparing us for a countywide introduction of this equipment later in the year,” Board of Elections Chairwoman Lynn Caterson said.

Board Secretary John Mooney concurred.

“I have confidence in Atlantic County’s election departments, including the Superintendent, County Clerk and the Board of Elections, in doing whatever is required to fully execute a fair, honest and open election,” he said.