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Kitsap County hosts open house for new ballot

Kitsap County citizens can preview the county's new ballot at an open house this week.

The Kitsap County Elections Division is inviting the public to view its new ballot counting system at an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 19. The upgraded system which includes a new way for voters to mark their ballots. The new "fill in the box" marking system replaces the "connect the arrow" system that was in place for the past 18 years.

"We hope citizens will take advantage of this opportunity to come see the new ballots before they arrive in the mail in July," said Kitsap County Auditor Walt Washington. "I am certain they will find the new marking system to be much more user friendly."

The open house will be held in the Elections Division office at the county courthouse at 619 Division St., Port Orchard.

The Elections Division will also display its new digital scan ballot counting system, which replaced the previous optical scan system. The new system improves efficiency by digitizing several processes that were completed manually before.

"We are already realizing improved efficiencies thanks to our new system," said Elections Manager Dolores Gilmore. "This open house is a unique opportunity for citizens to see a demonstration of this new system before it’s officially deployed for the Primary Election."

The Elections Division purchased the new ballot counting system from Hart InterCivic, an Austin, Texas-based company.

Kitsap is the 25th county in Washington to use this system, in addition to numerous other counties using Hart equipment nationally.

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