Based on advice from town counsel, the Electronic Balloting Committee has decided to slow down the electronic balloting process in order to ensure Town Meeting voters are fully prepared for an electronic balloting system.

The committee met last Thursday, Jan. 16, to devise a plan that will fully educate Town Meeting voters before this year’s Town Meeting on March 8. With two demonstrations on how to properly use the electronic devices supplied by Option Technologies set for Jan. 30 at the Senior Center, the committee decided to hold a third demonstration immediately before Town Meeting for voters who are not able to make it to the previous demonstrations.

“Slowing down is advantageous to the voters,” said Susan Kadar, acting chair. “We know that not every voter will be able to make it to the January meetings so we are going to ask for one more demonstration.”

In addition to the extra assistance from Option Technologies, Kadar said the committee has decided to use both the electronic devices and the traditional method of counting votes at this year’s meeting.

“The votes from the electronic devices will essentially be shadow votes, and we will officially count votes for this year’s meeting as we always have,” Kadar said. “We believe and hope this will give voters a better feel for the process and a higher level of confidence in the devices.”

By “slowing down,” Kadar is referring to the previous goal of the committee to fully implement usage of the devices at this year’s Town Meeting by completely foregoing the traditional method of counting votes. Kadar said the committee realized it was “too ambitious” to assume all voters would be comfortable enough with the devices by the time the meeting came around this year. By allowing voters to use both the devices and the familiar method of voting, the hope is that voters will become comfortable enough with the process to fully implement the devices next year.

“The committee’s enthusiasm has not diminished, but we recognize we were a little too ambitious,” Kadar said. “We hope this new plan will be effective and we are confident voters will feel comfortable enough with the process to adopt it for future meetings.”