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Step-by-step: Explore the future of voting in LA County

Los Angeles County officials are in the midst of reimagining the way voters will be voting.

After several years' work on a new voting system and a recent presentation at Southwest by Southwest Eco, officials will soon lock down design details with the aim of rolling the system out fully in 2020. A pilot program is scheduled in 2018.  

Under the system that is envisioned, voters can mark their choices using touchscreen devices, submit ballot selections via smartphones and vote on one of several days at various locations. 

Voters also have options like customizing their ballot's font size and choosing a ballot from several languages. The new voting system will still create a ballot paper trail as required by state law. 

The project began as an idea back in 2009 and has cost $8.9 million so far, a price tag expected to rise to $13 million in the coming months. 

KPCC recently tried out a prototype of the new system at the L.A. County registrar offices in Norwalk. Here's a step-by-step guide of how it works:

  1. When you first check in, a poll worker will give you a blank ballot with your individual QR code:
  2. Feed your blank ballot into the ballot marker device, which has both a QR code scanner and printer:
  3. You have the option of using headphones that have spoken instructions:
  4. An accessibility button pad is included in the ballot marking device:
  5. Begin voting using a touchscreen:
  6. The touchscreen interface is purposely minimalist for best readability:
  7. Or, voters can select their candidates at home on their smartphones then scan in their choices once they get to the polls using this QR code scanner:
  8. Your completed ballot will be printed out from the marking device: