The voting systems used in West Virginia are Optical Scan, AutoMARK, Paper Ballots and DRE.
Optical Scan: An optical scan ballot is a specially designed paper ballot which is marked by the voter with a special pencil, then tallied by a computer reader. The layout is very similar to the standardized tests given in school, the voter darkens an oval next to a candidate's name in order to enter a vote.
AutoMARK:This voting system actually uses the Optical Scan ballot. The voter inserts the ballot into the machine and uses the AutoMARK touch screen to make his/her choices; when the voter is finished, the unit then marks the ballot for the voter and the voter retrieves his/her ballot and places it in a ballot box.
Paper Ballots: Paper Ballots are still marked with an x to select the preferred candidate and then counted at the polling place by a team of five election officials called a Counting Board.
Direct Recording Electronic (DRE): This is the newest kind of system in use in the U.S. All the information about who and what you are voting for is on an electronic screen like a TV or computer screen.
There are many variations of DREs because lots of companies are inventing new ones, and many cities, counties and states are trying them out. Usually, after you have signed in, the poll workers will give you a card that you slide into a device to start your voting session.
Some of these devices will show all of the candidates and ballot choices on one big screen. Often, with these big screen devices you push a button next to the name of the candidate you want to vote for (or yes or no on a ballot measure). On other DREs, the screen is set up to show pages. On each screen or page, there will probably be one thing to vote on. For example, on one screen or page, you might vote for president. Then you might move to the next page to vote for senator. Often these small-screen devices have a touch screen, where you touch the screen next to the name of the person you want to vote for. Other devices have a key pad. And some have a keyboard, so you can write in the name of someone you want to vote for. You let the system know you are finished voting by pushing a button, touching the screen or entering something on a keypad.
You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) resource.