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By David J. Cieslak
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 24, 1998

New voting system to be used in primary

Pima County's new voting system will get its first run during the ASUA primary elections, today and tomorrow.

Voters will use a computerized scanner system that will provide greater accuracy, replacing the outdated punch cards that had been used in the Tucson area for the past 30 years, said county Elections Manager Mitch Etter.

The switch is costing Pima County $1.9 million, but according to Etter, it will pay off in the long run.

"The old system was time consuming and labor intensive," he said.

Assistant Associated Students Elections Commissioner Robert Sandoval said he is pleased with the new format.

Although computers are often blamed for replacing human effort, Sandoval said the election staff will not be reduced even though the computers will expedite the process by producing immediate, on-site results.

"The results are instantaneous," Sandoval said.

The luxury of having high-tech equipment is coming at a cost of $3,200 for the primary and general elections, however. Sandoval said he is hopeful that next year, Pima County will donate use of the equipment to ASUA as it has in the past.

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