Citizens get to test new voting machines

At Autozone Park Saturday, Shelby County voters can get a glimpse of the new voting machines and try them out.

The county is trying to alleviate any worries about the machines by making people comfortable with them before they have to cast a vote.

All the attention is on the machines but, one election commissioner said there may be bigger problems on election day.

"The new machines aren't that complicated," said Zorina Bowen, a county pollworker. "They really are not."

Bowen went through the required training and said she's ready to do whatever it takes to help voters navigate new voting machines on election day.

"Basic thing is letting them know there's nothing to be scared of," Bowen said. "And, it's very easy."

Shelby County is rolling out 1,500 brand new voting machines for the August 3 primary. The county's touting them as more accurate and more secure than anything the county has used before.

Election commissioners said the machines are no cause for worry, but that the ballot may be. With more than 300 candidates running for more than 140 offices, it's the largest election in Shelby County history.

And that could cause confusion.

"The problem that poses for the voter is to be knowledgeable on the offices that apply to their address, so that they can make informed votes," said Richard Holden, election commissioner.

Election officials suggest showing up prepared on election day; decide who gets your vote before you get in the booth.

And if you have questions about casting your ballot, officials promise extra workers and extra machines at the polls to keep you moving.

Holden said the new machines are safe from hackers, too. The voting machines will not be connected to any other machines or communication devices - which means a person would have to break into each individual machine to affect votes.