With the November election getting closer, Ford County will be testing new election equipment for recording votes.

"This equipment will print out a paper ballot showing just what the person voted," Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox said. "They will see how they voted, then take that ballot to a ballot box or tabulator and place it in the box or tabulator."

The demonstrations on the equipment will be at Ford Community Church Fellowship Hall on Oct. 2 from 4 to 7 p.m.; St. John Parrish Center in Spearville on Oct. 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. and Dodge City Public Library on Oct. 16 from 1 to 4 p.m. "This equipment is still a touch screen, so that part has not change," Cox said. "What has changed is the paper trail that this equipment provides. The voter will have to place their ballot in the ballot box or tabulator in order for their vote to count. "The paper trail is the biggest benefit.

People will be able to see how they voted on paper before they cast their ballot." According to Cox, the change was needed to update the 11 year old system that is currently in place.

"It was starting to show wear and as with all technology, new is not compatible with old," she said. "This was something that we were thinking about doing for at least 3 years and now was the time to do it before a major election.

"The state is now requiring all new election equipment to have a paper trail also.

"The way the technology changes and the laws are always changing, I believe that new election equipment will be needed every 10 to 15 years."

The Nov. 7 election will be for the Dodge City Commission, USD 443 Board of Education and Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees along with several seats throughout the Ford County townships.

The last day to register to vote will be Oct. 18 with in-office voting starting on Oct. 31.

There will be a USD 443 board candidate forum held on Sept. 27 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Learning Center; a DCCC trustee forum will be on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at the DCCC Little Theater and a city commission candidate forum will be on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Dodge City Public Library.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com