By Susan Miele, Staff Reporter
Mar. 28, 2018: Voter turnout for last week’s village election totaled nearly 1,000 residents, considerably higher than in years past, according to Bronxville Village Administrator James Palmer.
Scannable ballots--previously employed for both general and fire elections--were used for the first time in a village election to expedite the tallying process.
In preparation for the election, 750 preprinted ballots were prepared for use in the scanners. This was estimated to be an ample quantity in light of historical voter turnout for village elections, which at times has drawn as few as 100 voters.
However, as a steady flow of voters arrived throughout the day, additional ballots were prepared via photocopy, an alternative method recommended by the Westchester Board of Elections. At no time was there a disruption in the availability of ballots.
By the time the polls closed, more than 950 residents had cast their vote, with an estimated 20% of voters arriving between 6:00 and 8:00 pm, according to Palmer, who directly supervised the polling station from 4:00 am until midnight. While the polls closed at 9:00 pm, the tabulation continued several hours after the last vote was cast.
Scannable ballots allow for automated tallying, whereas photocopied ballots require manual counting; otherwise, photocopied ballots have no disadvantage, according to Palmer. These ballots were stored in a lockbox and counted, along with absentee ballots, once voting ended. The lockbox method was pre-emptively provided by Palmer as a backup, in case scanners should malfunction.
Tabulation falls under the purview of four election inspectors--two Republicans and two Democrats--in the presence of the village administrator.
“I applaud the efforts of the election inspectors for maintaining composure and processing voters as expeditiously as possible,” said Palmer.
Pictured here: A scannable ballot.
Photo by Neely Bower