The voting systems used in Alaska are optical scan, touch screen-paper ballots and hand count.

Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. When you are finished filling out all the cards, you may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that checks your card or paper right there at the polling place to make sure you have voted the way you want to and counts the votes.

Touch Screen-Paper ballots: These units used in Alaska have a voter verifiable paper trail that allows the voter to verify the printed version of the ballot prior to casting the ballot. When voting on a touch screen, the voter has the option of having the ballot on the screen and/or listen to an audio version of the ballot and using a keypad to make the selection. Like the optical scan, when the polls close, the election board ends the election on the touch screen and then transmit results either via telephone line (for optical scan precincts) or by calling in the results to the regional office (for hand-count precincts).

Hand Count: These precincts are those precincts that are in rural areas of the state with few voters. After the polls close, the election boards tally the ballots using prepared tally books and then call in the results to the appropriate regional office. The regional offices then data enter the results into the regional GEMS computer and uploads the results to the GEMS system in the Director's Office via modem connection. There are 133 hand-count precincts in Alaska.

You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) resource.