New System Speeds Up Ballot Counting Process

New System Speeds Up Ballot Counting Process

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Before 2017, the staff at the Jefferson County Board of Elections counted absentee ballots by hand.

"Literally, we had giants sheets and we were doing tally marks, so there were people who were counting them by hand," said Board of Elections Commissioner Jude Seymour.  

Now, they have Clear Ballot - a computerized system that scans each absentee ballot in a matter of seconds, not minutes.

The system looks for marks, tallies those marks and gives the results. It even tells you how confident the system is about each mark, like ones for Jefferson County Clerk Gizelle Meeks.

"What the computer's doing is it's organizing these marks from I'm the most confident that this is a vote for Gizelle and I am the least confident that this is a vote for Gizelle," said Seymour.

Seymour says this new technology is much, much faster than how he and his staff used to count absentee ballots.

"What used to take two people an hour might take now two people five minutes," he said.

Seymour says the board of elections got Clear Ballot because it took so long to count absentee ballots during last year's presidential election.

He added that if they were using this for the first time during a presidential election, he would be a little worried.

However, he's confident that he and his staff will be experts at using this technology three years from now.

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