OC Registrar of Voters responds to security concerns about electronic voting equipment

SANTA ANA (KABC) -- The presidential primary election on March 3 will be the first time Californians will vote using a new system.

"There's really two major projects happening in tandem. A new experience for voters and then new equipment and new method of voting for voters as well," said Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley.

Instead of being assigned to one designated polling location, voters will be able to vote at any polling center.

They will also be voting on an electronic ballot marking device.

It's time to get rid of the old voting equipment because it can no longer be updates with new parts.

"I mean elections are sacred, we need to make sure that the ballots are being cast correctly and that we're capturing the votes the right way so it's time to get rid of it," said Kelley.

With the new electronic ballot marking device, there's an obvious concern about whether or not these machines can be connected to the internet or potentially hacked.

"That's a valid concern, I would never allow the systems to be connected to the Internet. It's not going to happen on my watch. You know there are other jurisdictions around the country where that's happened and I see those stories myself as a consumer. That is not something that I'm interested in and we're not going to do it. So, you won't find that in Orange County," he said.

Regardless of how you choose to vote, whether it be by mail or in person, this is still a paper ballot system.

The warehouse at the Orange County Registrar of Voters office holds what's left of the 17-year-old ballot equipment.

"But Kelley says he isn't ready for get rid of all it just yet.

"What you see up here is just a small portion of what's left. So, we're getting ready to recycle these after the March election. But I don't want to recycle them until we get through the election, just in case we have to go back to them," said Kelley.
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