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Tippecanoe County voter card confusion

When you go to cast your vote, the workers will hand you a little white card. Unless you ask, no one really tells you what it's used for. That has caused confusion during early voting.

Posted: Nov. 5, 2018 6:44 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Not everyone knows what the white card does at the election polls in Tippecanoe County. 

"Does it have your voter registration on it?" asked voter Andrea Kuiper. 

"Personally, I don't know about the card," said voter Kirsten Williams. 

"Initially, I assumed that my vote would be recorded on that card," explained voter Earl McCoy. 

Because of his initial thoughts, Earl McCoy decided not to vote early.

"I wasn't comfortable leaving it in an unsecured box," said McCoy. 

However, those cards are not used for what McCoy thought they were used for. When the cards exit the machine, they're completely wiped clean. The voter cards are only used to tell the machine which ballot to pull. They do not store personal identification information or more importantly, your vote.

"I think that would have been nice to know ahead of time," said Kuiper. 

McCoy agreed, especially in a world where so much information is contained on cards.

"I use a card to get into the courthouse, I use a different card to park, my bank cards have all kinds of information on them so, I think it's a natural assumption that people make when we deal with cards every day," said McCoy. 

Some people already knew what the cards were used for, others asked, but Kirsten Williams just trusted the system.

"Because this is what worked before and it's consistent," said Williams. "I mean, there's always going to be something that you can improve upon."

Now that McCoy knows those cards laying out in the open aren't endangering the integrity of his ballot, he plans to vote on Election Day.

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