New electronic voting machines that Fairfax County has bought to replace the present machines will be available for voters to use for practice this Saturday and next at six regional libraries. The new machines will be put to use beginning March 8 with the Super Tuesday Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.
"We hope that showing the voters the machines in as many places as possible will remind people to vote in the presidential primary elections on March 8," said Jane Vitray, secretary of the Fairfax County Electoral Board.
According to Vitray, the new machines will make the voting process easier to follow.
A blinking light above each ballot item will stop flashing after a voter has made a choice. The light will enable voters to keep track of what issues or offices he has already responded to and reduce the possibility of overlooking an item.
Also, unlike the old voting machine, the new model was built to be accessible to the handicapped. An election officer will be able to lower the machine electronically to a level that is convenient for voters in wheelchairs.
The time taken to tally votes will be much less with the new machines because votes will be counted electronically instead of by hand.
Several of the 484 machines will be accessible to the public at the following regional libraries: Fairfax City Library, 3915 Chain Bridge Rd., Fairfax; George Mason Library, 7001 Little River Tpke., Annandale; Pohick Library, 6450 Sydenstricker Rd., Burke; Reston Library, 11925 Bowman Towne Dr., Reston; Sherwood Library, 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane, Alexandria; and Tysons-Pimmit Library, 7584 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church.
A machine is also on display weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Fairfax County office of the Electoral Board, 4031 University Dr., Fairfax.