By Tony Farkas
COLDSPRING — In order to comply with state mandates, as well as fulfill a mission of voting integrity, the San Jacinto Elections Office has implemented a new voting process.
Elections Administrator Vicki Shelley said the county has completed a conversion of its voting machines from DRE — direct record electronic — to PVR — print vote record.
Shelley said that previously, voters went to a touch screen voting machine, make their selections, get to the end and review them, and then press cast, which would record the vote. It was a one-step process.
Now, it is a two-step process, she said; while the voter still will cast votes using the same touch screen setup, instead of casting the vote electronically, it will instead print the votes onto a special, elections-office-only brand of paper.
“It will print out their selections on the PVR (a brand of thermal paper available only to election offices), and the voter can then read exactly what the votes are,” she said. “Then they will go to a separate scanning device, and the voter will insert the printed record to cast the ballot.”
The election workers have received training to help anyone with the new process.
“It seems like it would be a difficult process, but it isn’t,” Shelley said. “This is something that has been on the mind of voters, that they wanted to have a printed copy showing their votes.”
Shelley said that even though the timeline for converting to a paper-verifiable system, as mandated by the state and federal governments, was 2026, she opted not to wait to get the new system in.
It will allow voters to get used to the new process through several smaller elections, and it also will help the poll workers acclimate to the new process as well, she said.
“It is my goal to make sure the election workers make the voter feel secure,” she said.