Eastham residents will head to Nauset Regional High School for their annual town meeting on Monday, May 4 at 7 p.m. This year, votes for all 31 articles will be counted electronically.
The town is introducing wireless electronic voting devices at this year's meeting. When residents arrive at the school's gymnasium, they will receive a powered up OptionFinder® G3. When the moderator calls for a vote, the user will click "1" for yes and "2" for no. The handheld device manufactured by Option Technologies, will indicate if a yes or no vote is received and will also indicate the tally for the article.
According to Town Moderator Steve Cole, last year Eastham voted to institute electronic voting in 2015 for three reasons: it is much faster than tallying votes in a traditional manner, it is private, a benefit if you don't want your neighbor to know how you voted on a given article, and it is accurate--no more questioning close votes. Coles said that other towns that already use electronic voting, several Massachusetts towns, have found that the time once spent tallying votes is now spent reviewing the warrant. "There's more discussion on the articles that require good discussion, which is after all the purpose of town meeting."
The town is hoping electronic voting may encourage residents who do not typically attend town meetings to participate in the May 4 town meeting and future meetings.