Today’s news:

Qns. polling places to get high−tech machines

The borough’s polling places will be featuring new technology when voters cast their ballots, but the old−style lever machines will still be in place, according to the state Elections Board.

An electronic machine called a ballot marking device will be used for the first time in all precincts.

The device was used in at least one polling place in every county in the state during the 2006 and 2007 primary elections, according to state Elections Board spokesman Bob Brehm. It was unclear how many of the machines were employed in Queens.

Voters can decide to use the ballot marking device or the traditional machines, he said.

The new technology, manufactured by ES&S AutoMark, uses a paper ballot that is inserted into the machine.

The ballot is then loaded and superimposed onto an electronic screen

which voters touch to select their preferred candidates.

Voters can review their choices and make any changes once they are finished making their selections. The paper ballot is then printed.

Brehm said the device is accessible for the disabled, although any voter can choose to cast a ballot on the machine.

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