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Departments & Services > Registrars of Voters > Registrars of Voters News

11/3/2020 - Election Day Q&A

We have received a number of questions about things happening on Election Day.

Q: Why are you using pencils at the polling place?

A: We are providing single-use golf pencils to each person to allow voters to cast their ballot with minimal risk of COVID transmission. We have a supply of pens at each location for voters who prefer to use them, but are not able to sanitize each pen between uses. Voters who would like to bring their own pen may do so.

 

Q: Will someone be able to change my vote?

A: No, we maintain a chain of custody on voted ballots so that they are never alone in the custody of a single pollworker or a single party's pollworkers. Nobody is able to handle any ballots without bipartisan oversight.

 

Q: Why did a ballot counting machine break?

A: Due to the large volume of voters and the folded ballots, we are experiencing a higher than usual number of jams on our voting tabulators. When a jam is not cleared correctly, it can cause the feeder mechanism to malfunction. We experience these problems every year, and had 3 machines where we had this problem this year, which were resolved in under an hour. Voters were asked to deposit their ballots into the "auxiliary bin," a compartment on the ballot box which keeps uncounted ballots isolated from counted ballots until the machine is operational.

If you have any concerns about all the ballots being counted, we can offer and suggest that the final counting and reporting procedures -- "the canvass" -- are open to the public for observation at each polling place beginning at 8pm. Voters can see the number of ballots counted by each tabulator and the number of voters who reported to vote in person and who submitted absentee ballots.

 

We will update this page with any other frequent requests we receive -- if you need information, please contact us at (203) 256-3115 and we will provide you with assistance.