Counting ballots easier

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 10, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Now, recording who has voted in Adams County elections can be done with the touch of a &uot;pen&uot; &045; an electronic one, that is.

When a person votes in Adams County, an election worker places an ink stamp next to his name to signify that he has voted.

In past elections, election commissioners then had to enter into their computer system, by hand, a record of who had voted.

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But for last November’s elections, the county’s Election Commission bought a printer that would print bar codes next to each voter’s name.

Now all commissioners must do, using newly bought handheld bar code scanners, is scan the codes to enter the information into their new computer system.

The scanners cost more than $40 apiece, paid for from the commission’s budget for this year.

&uot;It allows us to enter the information more accurately and quickly, Š probably in less than one-fourth of the time it used to take us,&uot; Election Commissioner Larry Gardner said.

&uot;It used to take five people at least a week to do it. Now, it’ll take us maybe two days with three people.&uot;

Saving time will save taxpayers money in the long run and will make it easier to run more specific searches of the data, such as which people voted Republican or Democratic in a primary, he said.