Expanding Electronic Voting Proposed in Falmouth

FALMOUTH – A change to the way that votes are recorded at Falmouth town meetings has been proposed by resident Malcom Donald.

Electronic voting, which he hopes to expand, was introduced to the 244 citizens who attended last fall’s meeting. When a vote was opened by the moderator, voters had 60 seconds to register a “yes” or “no” using a clicker provided by the town.

Although most decisions will still be made by voice votes, the new system will be used for articles that need a super majority or standing count.

Donald says that the system can also be helpful to citizens who want to keep track of what their elected officials are up to. “When they go to re-elect somebody, how are they voting and do I like their decision making?”

He is hoping that the town will move towards using the system for final votes on every article.

Donald points out that the electronic system can also be used to keep track of town official’s attendance. “If we record the votes, we also know whether our representatives are actually at the town meeting. Right now, people can go to town meeting, sign in and walk out, and no one’s the wiser,” he said.

The numeric results of electronic voting are projected onto screens, but not how individuals voted. The way attendees vote may become available on the town’s website in the future.

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