New Brunswick voters will have their ballots counted by tabulation machines on Sept. 22, marking the first time Elections New Brunswick has used the devices during a provincial election.
The voting machines have been deployed in municipal elections since 2008 and provincial byelections but never in a provincial election.
Michael Quinn, the province’s chief electoral officer, said these vote tabulation machines help speed up the counting process.
“It is a faster and more accurate form of voting. It makes the results come in a little bit quicker,” he said.
Voters will still mark a paper ballot. But instead of dropping their ballot into a box, they will have the ballot placed on the tabulation machine that will process their vote.
The machines scan each ballot and then sort it accordingly.
At the end of the day, the machines are unlocked by two officials and the results are printed out.
Quinn said these units have proved very accurate.
“We've had numerous recounts with these [in municipal elections] … these machines have shown time and again that they're accurate,” Quinn said.
The machines will also speed up the process of announcing the winners across the province.
Quinn said he expects advance polling results to be available by 8:15 p.m. on Sept. 22 and the remainder of the results starting at about 8:30 p.m.
Voters who are eager to cast a ballot can visit any returning office and vote by a special ballot.
Meanwhile, the advance polling days are Sept. 13 and 15.