Here's what LA County's voting booth of the future will be like

Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Los Angeles County Registrar Dean Logan uses a touchscreen ballot marking device at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015. The device is the third prototype made by the county.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Listen to story

Download this story 0MB

L.A. County's Registrar-Recorder Office unveiled their voting booth of the future Thursday, a prototype of a touch screen device that lays a foundation for how millions of Angelenos will eventually cast their ballots.

The device, which looks like a large tablet, has been in the works for the past seven years at a price tag of $14 million. Developers experimented with numerous prototypes over that period, before settling on this version, which they believe makes voting easier.

Monica Flores, a project manager for  Los Angeles County's Voting Systems Assessment Project, said as soon as 2018, voters could encounter the new technology, which includes a touchscreen and smartphone application.

Everything about the new design, she says, has been taken into consideration. Flores points to the prototype booth's yellow privacy screen. 

"We selected yellow because it represents California and sunshine," she says. "It's a happy color." 

Rollout of the new voting booths, Flores says, would vastly change the way residents vote, utilizing QR codes to organize and count people's votes faster.

In the last decade, the county has struggled with voter turnout, Flores said. Since 2010, well below 50 percent of the county's voting population has turned out during the state primary elections. 

Michael Sanchez, a communications assistant with the clerk's office, said his team's main goal is to attract more voters. He said if the new technology can make voting easier, then his team will feel successful. 

"This impacts the future of your potential children," he said. "It is essential that you continue to improve and move forward and not rest on your laurels. Sanchez couldn't provide specific details about when and where the new booths will debut, but he said local, smaller elections, will likely be among the county's first testing sites around 2018.