There are two ways to vote when you go to the polls in the District.

The most common way is to use a paper ballot. Voters use pencils to connect the two halves of an arrow pointing to the candidates of their choice. The paper ballots are inserted into a voting machine with an internal scanner that "reads" the ballot and counts the vote.

The newer method is to use touch-screen voting.

There will be one AVC Edge touch-screen voting machine in each of the District's 142 polling sites that voters may use if they wish. Paper ballots will continue to be available as they have been in prior elections.

QWhat's the first step?

AIndicate you want to use the machine, and a poll worker will provide you with a card, encoded with the precinct and the ward. Insert the card in the yellow slot at the lower left of the voting unit.

How do I actually vote?

Candidates' names appear on the screen. Make selections by touching a fingertip to the circle to the right of the candidate's name. A check mark appears.

Can I change my vote?

Yes; just touch the circle again and the check mark disappears. Make another choice.

Can I write in a choice?

Touch the words "write in" and a touch-screen keyboard appears. Use it to enter the full name of the person you wish to vote for.

Okay, I've voted for president and vice president. How do I move on to other offices?

Touch the "Done" arrow in the lower right corner of the screen and advance to the next screen.

And what if I don't want to vote for every office?

The machine will allow undervoting, but the voter will be warned that he has undervoted and may wish to go back. The voter may review and modify the ballot by touching the "Review" button.

What if I get confused and vote for more candidates than I should have?

The machine will not allow a voter to choose more candidates than is permitted. Once the maximum allowable selections have been made, the voting circles disappear beside the other names or choices not selected.

How do I look back to see whom I have voted for?

Use the yellow arrows that say "Next" and "Back" to move between screens. Touch "Review" at any time to see all your choices on a single screen.

How do I finally cast my vote?

Touch the yellow "Cast Vote" button in the middle of the screen.

And about that card?

It will pop out of its slot and should be returned to the poll worker.

Special features

Voters may select English or Spanish.

Machines are accessible to the disabled.

A device may be plugged into the unit that allows voting by the visually impaired.

Each of the city's 142 polling sites will have one AVC Edge touch-screen voting device. Voters wishing to use it should ask a poll worker for help.