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      The way you vote is changing

      The sounds of Election Day are changing.

      The old lever machines are out, and when voters in New York State head to the polls this year, everyone will be voting on paper ballots.

      Here's how it works: You go to the privacy booth, take your pen and fill in who you want to vote for. Once that's done, you put the paper through the optical scan ballot machine.

      It's all part of the Help America Vote Act, which allows voters with disabilities to vote independently. In Onondaga County last year, about 40 percent of the county voted on the new system.

      "We had a pilot run out of 13 towns last year including Clay, which was our larges and it went pretty well," said Onondaga County Elections Commissioner Helen Kiggins. "The biggest concern was privacy and we've tried to address that by providing a privacy sleeve now for each voter to carry around the polling site and we've also instructed the inspectors to back away from the machines."

      Voters in Onondaga County received pamphlets in the mail explaining the new system. There are also instructions on the wall in the privacy booth and on the bottom of the ballot.