CLARKSBURG, Mass. - The town of Clarksburg is making a big change around how their votes are counted for the midterm and for future elections.
This year, voters will be placing their ballots into an electronic voting machine for the first time. The town had been using a wooden ballot box manufactured in Worcester since the early 1900's and ballots had to be hand counted.
They budgeted for the electronic machine which town clerk Marilyn Gomeau said will improve the process. She hopes it will encourage more residents, especially younger voters, to get excited about election day.
“Very excited about having a new machine because when I first came here and we did have an election, I was looking for the voting machine and they showed me the crank box," Gomeau said. "Which is, I understand, a part of history, but I think it’s just time to move forward.
"The thing with this machine is it puts the voter in total control. No one has to handle their ballot, no one touches their ballot and it’s all done in privacy. They don’t worry about someone seeing their ballot, their votes or how they’re voting. I think it gives the voter much more control.”
Gomeau said the retired crank machine will have a permanent home on display in the Clarksburg Historical Society.