The new computerized optical voting machines get their first big test this Election Day.
The optical scanners were used on a trial basis last September. Board of Elections Commissioner Helen Kiggins says because inspectors were often standing near the scanners, some voters had privacy concerns. This time around, Kiggins says inspectors have been told to stand back.
"Some people wanted help and that's fine. But if you don't need help and are comfortable doing everything you need to do, than the inspectors have been instructed to stay away," she says.
To speed up results, the Board of Elections has also refined its ballot counting system. The new voting machines have already been set up at 175 polling stations throughout Onondaga County. Even though the machines are computerized, the ballots are still filled out by hand. Kiggins says voters need to make sure they fill in the ovals completely. If they don't, or if they over vote, the scanners won't count the ballot.
"Take your time. No one is going to be rushing you. You won't have a time limit like there used to be in the leverage machines. You'll have a privacy booth and you can take all the time you want."
Trying to find out where your polling station is? Want to see a sample ballot? The Onondaga County Board of Elections has a poll site locator and sample ballot here .
Not sure if you are registered to vote? Check here .
To watch an informational video on optical scanning machines, click here .
For general voting information, click here .
The office of State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who recently put out reports on Primary Day voting issues inside and outside New York City, will be fielding complaints about privacy issues, technical difficulties, trouble reading ballots and late opening of polling sites at 888-OSC-4555 (888-672-4555).
You can contact the Onondaga County Board of Elections by phone at (315) 435-8683.
Finally, you can keep up with all of the latest election news and results all day Tuesday, as well as a recap on Wednesday, by clicking on CNYcentral.com's politics page .