Black Hawk County’s election system is ill-equipped to deal with the skyrocketing number of voters using absentee ballots. Grant Veeder, the county’s auditor and commissioner of elections, is seeking an estimated $532,000 in next year’s county budget to help purchase new voting equipment and software. The 76 precinct ballot scanners and 66 accessible ballot marking devices — purchased in 2008 with federal Help America Vote Act dollars — still work. But the system lacks a large central count machine that could efficiently tally the stacks of absentee ballots. “We’re trending towards half the votes in the state being absentee,” Veeder said.
More than 29,000 Black Hawk County voters used absentee ballots in the 2012 general election, accounting for 40 percent of the votes cast. It creates headaches for election officials.
Veeder said eight of the small voting machines were set up in a room in Waterloo City Hall during the November gubernatorial election. Crews fed them with absentee ballots, stopping only to let them cool down periodically.
… The plan would be to replace all current scanners along with acquiring a central count machine.
Full Article: Black Hawk County eyes new voting machines.