New machine will count county’s ballots

Scott Ryder from Ryder Election Service instructs staff of the Clatsop County Elections Division in the use of the new DS850 ballot-counting machine, Tuesday, Sept. 22.

The Clatsop County Clerk and Elections Department recently took delivery of a new ballot-counting machine that will offer more efficient vote tallying in future elections.

The DS850 was approved for purchase by the county board of commissioners in July at a cost of $110,135.

Elections Division staff received training on the new machine Sept. 22. Its first use will come during the Nov. 3 special election featuring a local option tax measure for the Seaside School District.

The former ballot-counter, which was in use from 2005, used outdated technology for capturing data that is no longer available and had reached the end of its service life. The machine used an optical scanner to tabulate ballots, and frequently jammed on folded or damaged ballots.

The new machine uses a high-speed digital scanner that can process 300 ballots per minute with virtually no jamming. The model is used by numerous elections offices across the country.

Introduction of the new machine will not change the look of ballots or the method of voting.

Ballots for the Nov. 3 election will mailed out to eligible voters in the Seaside School District the week of Oct. 19. The deadline to register to vote in the election is Oct. 13. For more information go to the Clatsop County website, www.co.clatsop.or.us.

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