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Technology to speed up voting on Nov. 6 page 2
Stafford County shows off its preparations for Election Day

 Stafford County Voter Registrar Greg Riddlemoser (left) talks with Marvin Wagner of the Stafford Democratic Committee during a pre-election open house Monday. The county is using new technology in this fall's election.
PETER CIHELKA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 10/10/2012

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Though the approximately 82,200 registered voters won't see how the computer program works, they could see the electronic scanners that will speed up voter check-in.

No more waiting in lines based on last names and waiting for election officials to flip through massive printed poll books.

Scanners can read barcodes on the new Virginia driver's license and on voter registration cards, finding a person's voter record in the electronic poll book in seconds.

Stafford is the only locality using these scanners, Riddlemoser told a group of elected county officials and party representatives during an open house Monday.

To get ready for the presidential and Senate elections that draw "cicada" voters who only come out occasionally, Riddlemoser said his office has been pushing absentee voting. His staff has put up signs about the absentee process in crowded commuter lots in Stafford.

All voters should have already received new voter cards in the mail over the past few weeks.

Polling places will be set up for maximum efficiency, said Riddlemoser, with lines inside buildings and signs telling voters what they need to have ready.

Voters will use paper ballots, unless they are visually disabled or otherwise handicapped, Riddlemoser said.

An optical scanner reads the markings on the ballots, just like the Scantron tests at schools.

On Election Day, 83 precinct chiefs and assistant chiefs, and 225 new election officials, will run the county's 27 polling places.

Since August 2008, there are 11,000 more voters in Stafford.

Katie Thisdell: 540/735-1975
Email: kthisdell@freelancestar.com


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New voter cards have been mailed out to all active voters. An approved ID is required to vote. Here are some important dates: NOW TO NOV. 3: In-person absentee voting on weekdays. Saturday in-person absentee voting is offered Oct. 27 and Nov. 3. OCT. 15: Deadline to register to vote in Nov. 6 election. OCT. 30: Deadline to apply for a mail-in absentee ballot. NOV. 6: Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Absentee ballots must be in the registrar's office by the end of the day.