New voting system coming to Virginia Beach

Posted at 8:20 PM, Nov 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-06 06:16:41-05

Virginia Beach, Va. - Casting votes in Virginia Beach will be much different come the 2016 presidential election.

Virginia Beach electoral board members say they've known for several years the current electronic voting machines needed to be replaced, but the problem is buying new electronic machines isn't an option.

"We are prohibited by state law from buying any more of these machines,” said Virginia Beach Electoral Board member Tim Barow.

That's why Barow says the current machines will be tossed out altogether.

City council has already approved $1.37 million dollars for a new voting system - one that doesn't rely on a touch screen.

"The General  Assembly passed a law that requires going to a paper ballot system,” explained Barow.

It’s a system cities like Chesapeake and Williamsburg already use.

Voters physically fill in a paper ballot then feed it through an optical scanner to be counted.

The Chesapeake registrar's office believes it's one of the most secure and reliable ways of doing things.

So, why didn't Virginia Beach switch over sooner?

Barow says it's a very complicated process.

"It involves procurement of the new machines, training of staff, training our election officials”

According to city documents, additional money has been set aside in the General Registrar’s operating budget to help fund training on the new system.