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New Voting Technology Makes Debut In Takoma Park

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In Maryland, voters are deciding local municipal elections. But in one city in Montgomery County they'll be voting differently.

Voters in Takoma Park are electing a mayor and six city council members. They'll be doing so using voting system that's making its debut in a municipal election. The scantegrity system, developed by a group of universities including George Washington and the University of Maryland-Baltimore Campus, uses paper ballots marked with invisible ink. A voter marks the ballot with a special marker, and receives a code. The voter can then use that code to check online to see if their vote was tabulated correctly.

Anne Sergeant, the chair of Takoma Park's election board, says they picked this system because it uses a paper ballot, something the city has always used. "People vote on a paper ballot, and they can see it, they can feel it, they can hold it, they can feed it into the scanner themselves," said Sergeant. "But then what's behind that paper system is a lot of advanced cryptography."

The initial reaction from voters was mostly positive.

The mayor's race and two city council elections are contested today in Takoma Park.

Matt Bush reports...

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