Using state-of-the-art voting machines wouldn’t have changed the controversial results of Michigan’s presidential election last fall, according to Detroit and state election officials. But new digital machines unveiled Saturday — to about 1,200 volunteer supervisors of Detroit’s polling sites — won’t suffer the frequent breakdowns of the old machines, causing lines to back up with impatient voters, and soon will be used statewide, officials said. “At the end of the day, we all have one goal, right? To ensure that every person that wants to vote gets to vote and we count that vote accurately,” Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey told the poll workers. In an event billed as an equipment fair, Winfrey and her staff showed off the new, $4,000 voting tabulators to noisy, curious crowds of election volunteers who gathered — one group in the morning, another in the afternoon — at Wayne County Community College in downtown Detroit.
Detroit has ordered nearly 700 of the new machines, which will cost the city between $400,000 and $600,000, Detroit Elections Director Daniel Baxter said. State funding will cover the remaining estimated cost, Baxter said, which is about $2.3 million. Detroit is among seven communities in Wayne County to get the new machines in time for the August primary election, Baxter said. Detroit’s election staffers are working hard to get the volunteer supervisors trained, tested and approved on the equipment, he said.
Last fall, “we had a lot of jams” — that is, machine breakdowns — “and we had to swap out equipment, so we had voters waiting,” Baxter said, adding: “We won’t have that anymore.”
Thanks to about $40 million in total funding from state lawmakers, Michigan voters across the state will begin seeing the new machines over the next 18 months, said Carol Pierce, an elections specialist with the Michigan Secretary of State.
Full Article: Detroit getting new voting machines, bound statewide.