WEBBER TWP. — With the primary election inching nearer, about 30 people came to Webber Township Hall last Thursday to see a demonstration on new voting equipment which will be used at the polls throughout the county.

Lake County Clerk Patti Pacola and Vicki Gates, of the Register of Deeds office, gave the demonstration. The event, hosted by the Lake County Democratic Party, was open to all voters in Lake County to become more familiar with the new equipment — a touch screen and tabulator.

“Voters will see the process as it happens on the screen,” Gates said. “It can detect a blank ballot or tell if people over-voted by filling in too many ovals. The machine won’t let you cross-vote. The touch screen has big print so anyone can read it. The brightness and the size of the print can be adjusted.”

After voters are finished filling out the ballot, they can review it and print it out. The ballot goes into the tabulator, which indicates if it was successfully cast.

“If the clerk gets low on ballots, the new equipment can print more ballots off, so they won’t run out,” Pacola said.

The machines were paid for by grants, and are about $3,000 to $4,000 a piece.

After the demonstration, people in attendance got to try out the new machines.

“It is our hope this training will help familiarize people with these new machines, so it will be a quicker process at the polls,” said Dan Cousar, member of the Lake County Democratic Party. “This training is an ongoing effort to educate voters. It is a very good thing. The county clerk was all too accommodating to show the public how the machines work. The township let us use the hall and provided refreshments.”