The state primary elections are scheduled for March 7th and for many Texans it will be their first time to use electronic voting machines. Texas officials are starting an aggressive campaign to educate voters about the new methods.
A flurry of television, radio and print ads will start today, all aimed at getting people comfortable with electronic voting. Under the federal Help America Vote Act, or HAVA, Texas must comply with several election-related changes, including a new state-wide voter registration system, and at least one electronic voting machine at every polling location. Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams says the campaign, called VOTEXAS, is aimed at demystifying the voting process.
“It is a voter education program. I hope, and I feel like, we will have a greater turn-out because of it. The whole idea is to not, not tell people to register, not tell people who to vote for; it’s to educate them about this equipment and to educate them about how do you vote.
Voters in Harris County have been using electronic systems for four years. But Harris County Clerk Beverly Kauffman says many people don’t understand how the e-vote works.
“Purchasing a system and training your officials is half the battle. If you don’t communicate to the voters what’s there for them, then you’re not doing the voter any good. So this is closing the loop, making sure that, you know, we’ve got the system, it makes voting accessible, easy, fast and secure for you, but we want you to know about it.”
Along with the media advertising, VOTEXAS will send a mobile exhibit across the state to festivals and sporting events.