Lori Edwards: Polk County Supervisor of Elections sticks with 'old fashion' voting system

POLK COUNTY, Fla. - It looks a lot like fall in the small town of Bartow, unlike what we typically see in South Florida.

Bill Daniels has lived in the town of about 16,000 since 1985.

"I like it long enough that I've stayed around all this while," he said.

He really likes that the old town sits in a county where the supervisor of elections has stuck to it's old ways.

"If it ain't broke don't fix it," he said.

That's the motto of the Polk County Supervisor of Elections follows.

They use the same system they've used since 2000.

"I personally think there's some advantage to that," Supervisor of Elections, Lori Edwards said. "I am personally not enamored with some of the newer technology."

So she sticks with the old, using machines that don't take digital images like most machines used in Florida.

"That can slow the process down," she said. "It can be as much as a couple of seconds per voter."

Their ballots don't have arrows, instead there are bubbles for the machine to scan.

When it's time to send in the results, there's no memory card.

A telephone cord from each precinct sends the information to a room full of modems connected a computer recording the votes.

Not too long after they have the results.

In November, Polk County poll workers were home by 10 at night taking about two hours to count more than 300,000 votes.

Bill is hoping other counties in Florida take note of Polk County's success.

"They just need to get one system that works and stay with it and don't change every two years," he said.

Lori said they got lucky.
 
"Everyone did not have the advantage that we did to stay with the tried and true equipment from year to year," she said.
 
Voters are happy the county stuck with the old equipment.

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