It’s been more than a decade since the Help America Vote Act, which pumped federal dollars into states to upgrade their voting equipment to avoid a repeat of the disastrous problems of the 2000 election. Now, that equipment is starting to show signs of age. Local governments are starting to think about replacing it in the next few years — this time, without federal help. Sherburne County is the first area county to do so. On Tuesday, the county board voted to accept a bid from Colorado-based Dominion Voting Systems for about $490,000 for a countywide upgrade of election equipment in time for the 2016 election.
Sherburne County purchased its current voting equipment between 1998 and 2000, Auditor-Treasurer Diane Arnold said. The equipment is still working, Arnold said, but it’s getting outdated and they don’t make replacement parts anymore. Technology also has improved significantly since then. “It’s come a long way,” she said.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon recently visited all 87 counties and said he heard “loudly and clearly that this is a big issue.”
“This is one of those issues that I understand on the front end can sound dry and technical,” Simon said. “But on the back end, if there’s a problem, it’s really going to generate unflattering attention and headlines if there’s a breakdown in the system because of breakdowns in machines.”
Full Article: Counties face replacing vote machines.