Leggett, Baker Launch Outreach Campaign to Introduce Voters to New Paper Ballots for the 2016 Presidential Election

For Immediate Release: 9/22/2015 Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett today joined Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III, and members of the Montgomery and Prince George’s counties’ Boards of Elections to launch an outreach campaign introducing voters to Maryland’s new voting system. At the event, which was held at the Riderwood Retirement Community in Silver Spring, seniors from both counties had an opportunity to cast ballots using the new equipment. The new system features a paper ballot that is electronically scanned before it drops into a ballot box, addressing concerns of some advocacy groups that the electronic voting equipment purchased by the State of Maryland after the presidential election in 2000 did not make a paper record of each ballot. The Maryland General Assembly passed a law in 2007 requiring paper ballots, but did not provide funds for a new system until last year. Voters throughout the State of Maryland will be using the new equipment for the first time in the 2016 Presidential Election. “I am pleased that the Board of Elections has received this new equipment in time to demonstrate it to voters across the County before the presidential primary election,” said Leggett. “It is important that every voter know how to cast their ballot, especially senior citizens and voters with disabilities who may want to vote early or use the accessibility features of the ballot-marking device at their polling place.” “At the core of democracy is the vote and it is imperative that we continue at the federal, state, and local levels to make voting more accessible and easier in order to increase participation and engagement of our citizens,” said Baker. “I am proud to join Montgomery County Executive Leggett and the Prince George’s and Montgomery counties’ Boards of Elections to launch this voter outreach campaign and introduce the residents of the two most populous Maryland counties to our state’s new voting system.” In the 2016 presidential election, voters will have four choices for how to cast their ballot: • Vote Early. The experience for early voters will be most similar to how Maryland residents are used to voting. Early voters will make their choices using a touch screen, but the equipment will print a paper ballot. Voters will cast their ballot by scanning the paper ballot on a digital scanner. • Vote on Election Day. Most voters on Election Day will NOT use a touch screen, but will use a pen to fill in ovals on a paper ballot. Voters will cast their ballot by scanning the paper ballot on a digital scanner. At least one touch screen ballot-marking device will be available at each polling place for voters with disabilities. • Vote by Mail. Voters can also request a ballot and return it by mail, as long as it is postmarked by Election Day. • Vote at the Board of Elections. Voters can also go in person to the Board of Elections office in Gaithersburg to cast their ballot. “We want to thank County Executive Leggett and County Executive Baker for helping us introduce the new voting equipment to the voters,” said Montgomery County Board of Elections President Jim Shalleck. The new voting equipment, including model DS200 digital scanners and ExpressVote ballot-marking devices, is leased by the State of Maryland from Election Systems and Software. Half of the cost of leasing the equipment is paid by the State of Maryland; the other half of the cost is paid by county government. More information on the new voting system, including an online form that any club or organization can use to request a demonstration of the equipment, is available at www.777vote.org. # # # Release ID: 15-341 Media Contact: Alysoun McLaughlin 240-777-8522


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