MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Voters in Shelby County will be able to use the long-awaited new voting machines for the first time on election day, and leaders are pushing to educate voters on how to use them before casting their ballot.
Wednesday was test day for the new voting machines before election day.
“We test every single one of the express votes to make sure they’re calibrated correctly, that it brings up the ballot correctly, that the headphones work, and you can make the type large,” said Shelby County Elections Administrator Linda Phillips.
The Shelby County Election Commission and the Shelby County Voter Alliance joined forces to educate voters during what was called a virtual lunch and learn. They rolled out a new video emphasizing to “Try it, Test it and Be Voter Ready.”
For about an hour, they took questions from the public about why the machines were needed.
“Our old system, we were down to one functioning server, and it was fifteen years old. If it died, we really had a lot of problems,” Phillips said.
They said the new machines are easier to use, have been designed for voters with disabilities, and can produce a paper record.
“There will be instructions at each voting machine, and we also have a written sheet to follow along that will give you the steps,” Phillips said.
The voter alliance will also hit the streets canvassing several Memphis communities to get more people engaged in voting.
“We’ve also had voter engagement training catered to Latinx members and the community leaders to get involved because this task is an all-hands task,” said Yuleny Escobar with the Shelby County Voter Alliance.
For general information from the Shelby County Election Commission about early voting, click here.