BEAVERTON – Students at Beaverton Junior/Senior High School were recently given the chance to take part in an actual “voting” experience. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, Gladwin County Clerk Laura Brandon-Maveal visited the BHS library to administer electronic voting for this year’s Homecoming King and Queen. Laura and her staff ran students, grades 9-12, through the actual voting process and allowed them to use the electronic machines to cast their vote. 

In the past, it would take all day for school officials to tally up the votes. However, with the electronic tabulator, they can print the totals straight from the machine and have the results within seconds. 

Laura and BHS would like to thank the machine vendor “Election Source” out of Grand Rapids for providing all of the programming and prep work free of charge for the school.  

Beaverton Homecoming was the perfect test run for the new voting equipment that will launch during this November’s elections. Voters will still have the choice to use standard paper ballots versus the electronic ballots. However, the perks of electronic ballots are adding up. 

These new electronic touchscreen ballots prevent any cross-voting or over-voting to take place. You simply select your choice on the touchscreen, the ballot is printed, and you take it over to the tabulator to be counted. These ballots are printed with QR code, meaning no one can see your choices when it’s on its way over to the tabulator. 

Another big perk of electronic ballots is that each one only costs about one cent versus 99 cents for the paper ballot, potentially creating huge savings. 

The few hundred students who took the time to vote for their Homecoming King and Queen at BHS can officially say that they got to use this new ground breaking piece of technology before anyone else in Gladwin County.