Retiree Meredith Vijil described voting on Hillsborough County's new optical scan machines in a word.
"Simple," said Vijil, 66, then added: "An idiot can do it."
Counting the votes came easily as well after Plant City's municipal election Tuesday. It was Hillsborough's first since making the switch from touch-screen ballot machines. Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson had the results in 21 minutes.
Of course there were only seven precincts and about 1,600 votes, compared with the nearly 400 precincts that will be open for the fall elections.
"All the new systems worked well and according to the schedule we had laid out," Johnson said.
Incumbent Mike Sparkman easily won a sixth term to the Plant City Commission in a nonpartisan race against Dean Snyder. Sparkman captured 59 percent of the vote.
Johnson was the last elections supervisor in the state to secure new voting machines as required last year by state law. At one point, Secretary of State Kurt Browning expressed alarm over his slow transition.
But the count went smoothly and the new machines received mostly positive reviews from voters queried, though some said they would have liked more privacy when feeding their filled-in ballots into the optical scan machine.
Johnson said he will explore whether to purchase a shield of sorts to allow more privacy.
Bill Varian, Times staff writer