Getting ready for election day: How to use the new ballot machines

Deputy Director of Communications Nadia Hakim shows us how the new polling machines work for Harris County voters.

Because of new legislation, all counties in Texas must have a machine matching the paper trail. Harris County Voting Administration developed a method using two machines, and a paper ballot. It is a secure method but requires more time not just from the voters, but also from the staff and volunteers.

FYI – Many poll workers are bilingual and can assist if you speak another language. And the machines are accommodating to people with a disability.

Overview of the machine

- At arrival - present your ID, verify the information and receive the access code. This step stays the same.

- With the access code, the voter will receive a ballot paper

- Go to the first machine – it is a touch screen. It’s on this machine the voter marks their choice.

- Choose a language

- Feed the ballot paper into the machine

- Read and follow directions to advance to the next page

- Review your choices and verify

- Once verified, hit the print ballot button

- If the ballot’s printed and the voter sees they made a mistake, the voter can fix their vote two times

But wait – you’re not done

- Go to the second machine. Scan the paper ballot on this machine for your vote to count!

Harris county has the longest ballot in the state and probably in the country. Beat the rush and the long lines by voting early. Early voting begins October 24th and ends November 4th.

Visit for more information. See the demonstration in the video above.

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