LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — After 10 years and $100 million, Los Angeles County is ready to unveil its brand new voting system in hopes of bringing more voters to the polls.
The new systems were on display Monday at the county office in Norwalk as a preview to the mock election the county will hold later this month to give voters a chance to get familiar with the 31,000 iPad-like devices the county purchased.
“It’s designed so voters can, to a certain extent, customize their voting experience,” Dean C. Logan, Los Angeles County registrar, said. “The voter can increase the size of the font and the contrast on the screen.”
Voters can also choose from 13 languages. And, for security reasons, the devices are not connected to the internet or to a network. The devices are programmed individually as voters move from question to question on the touchscreen device until they are done.
“The older we get, it’s hard to fill in the bubble things,” voter Rebecca Ortiz said. “And if I get to press a button that’s better.”
And while votes will be marking their ballots using a screen, the ballot itself is still paper. The paper ballot that prints out at the end of voting is what is collected and tallied — something that is very important to voters.
“There’s no ambiguity in the ballot when it prints out,” Logan said. “There are no chads, no deciphering the intent of the voter. It’s very clear.”
Also new is where and when people will vote.
“We’re moving away from a single-day, single-location based model of voting to an 11-day voting period,” Logan said.
Part of that means that the county will be operating 1,000 voting locations instead of 4,200; but Logan said voters will be able to go to any of the polling locations over that 11-day period in order to cast their votes.
“You can go to someplace close to work, someplace close to where you drop off you kids at school,” Logan said.
The new voting system will make its official debut during the presidential primaries next March, but people wanting to try out the machines before they go live can participate in a mock election hosted by the county Sept. 28-29.
At 50 polling locations throughout the county, people can come vote for things like their favorite county parks or selfie spots.
For more information about the mock elections, visit the county registrar’s office, and watch the video the office released below for more information about the voting systems.