When the scanner at the Sedgwick County Zoos advance polling site wouldnt read Jeannette McCombs new Kansas drivers license Wednesday, she was concerned.
I was afraid I wouldnt get to vote, McCombs said.
So she presented her old drivers license to the polling worker. The scanner read it, and she proceeded to vote.
But McCombs experience brings up a couple of reminders as advance voting continues and as Tuesdays Election Day approaches.
Scanning of a drivers license or a state-issued identification card is only used to speed up the voting process by quickly verifying a voters information. Scanning of the IDs isnt required for a person to vote, Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman said.
If the scanner doesnt work, or a person doesnt want to have their license or ID scanned, poll workers are trained to type in the information, she said.
It shouldnt keep them from voting, Lehman said.
McCombs said she renewed her license a few days ago, so she was given one of the new licenses that the state began issuing in mid-October. The old ones have a magnetic bar code and a two-dimensional bar code on the back; the new ones only have the 2-D bar code.
But Lehman said that shouldnt matter in the voting process because the scanner only reads the 2-D bar code on both the old and new licenses. She wasnt sure why the scanner didnt pick up the information off McCombs new license.
Maybe it wasnt aimed right, Lehman said.
The county purchased 130 scanners 90 percent of the tab was paid by a federal grant in 2010. While thats more scanners than there are polling sites, not all of the locations will have a scanner on Election Day, Lehman said.
Some sites will have as many as four scanners.
We try to put them at sites that have the heavier traffic, Lehman said.
Scanners, however, are at all advance polling sites.
Advance voting at the 15 satellite sites ends Saturday. A list of those sites can be found at www.sedgwickcounty.org/elections. But voters can still cast an advance vote at the election office, 501 N. Main, Suite 101, from 8 a.m. until noon on Monday.
As for McCombs, shes just happy to have voted.
The worker was really nice to me at the zoo, she said. I just wanted everyone to be aware of the possible problem. I want everyone to vote.