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Automation coming to Provincial Election

Written by Sarah Sacheli from Windsor Star

When voters go to the polls in June, they might think for a moment they’re at a checkout lane in a grocery store.

About half of polling stations in the upcoming provincial election will have barcode scanners instead of printed voter lists. Voter cards will have barcodes similar to what you would find on a box of cereal or can of soup.

At locations with several polls in the same room, gone will be the days of voters queued up at the one station where they can get their ballot.

“It’s more of a bank teller approach,” Greg Essensa, Ontario’s chief electoral officer, said Thursday. Essensa said voters at the polling stations with the new technology will be able to walk up to the “first available agent.”

At Essena’s urging, the province is introducing the barcode scanners as well as automated ballot tabulators for the first time for the June 7 election. It’s one of several changes voters will see on election day, and in the registration process in the weeks leading up to it.

Essensa said the new technology will save money by cutting down on the number of people needed to run polls, and make it easier and faster for voters to receive their ballots.