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Mock elections planned for voter education

"Every voter has up to three chances," said Sherman. "They will be issued up to three ballots."

Instructions for voters will be printed on every ballot, and posters will be hung at every polling site to illustrate the new voting process.

"It will not matter which way they put the ballot in," said Sherman, "it will scan it."

All the cast ballots are collected in a locked box within the machines and can be counted by hand if needed.

The machines require electricity to run and are equipped with backup batteries in the case of a power failure. If the machines lose power or otherwise fail to operate, the paper ballots will be collected in a secure emergency ballot box within the machine and counted later.

"With the lever machines, if something happened with the election, we weren't always able to recreate it," said Sherman. "With these, we have several ways we can recreate the election."

Pell-duChame said voters should feel very secure knowing poll inspectors have all been fully trained with the new machines.

For people with disabilities who are unable to fill in their own ballot, there will be electronic ballot marking devices available to allow for accessibility and privacy. The devices have a variety of interfaces that will help the blind, deaf, or motor-impaired print a ballot that represents their choices.

For more information, voters can contact the Essex County Board of Elections by calling 873-3474.

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