Fayette County’s General Election results in November should come in more quickly than they did in this month’s primary, but for the county commission, moving away from paper ballots completely is not a viable option. County Clerk Kelvin Holliday said all three early voting locations will offer only electronic voting in November. Earlier this month it took county employees more than three hours just to run early voting and absentee ballots through the paper ballot machine. Final results were not released until after 3 a.m. The county expects to have six iVotronic voting machines in Fayetteville for early voting, which is the busiest of the three early voting locations. By switching to electronic early voting, they hope ballot counting time will be cut down, but making the entire election electronic voting only isn’t possible.
Alicia Treadway, with the voters registration office, said the county would need about 85 more machines to eliminate paper ballots. She said refurbished machines now run $2,500 each, and the county would have to buy them used because they are no longer produced. Commission President Matt Wender noted that such a change would cost more than $212,000 for machines that are already outdated.
“When we think about spending $212,000 it is a hard argument to make. It inconveniences us on election night. The media reports less than full returns, which makes us look bad, but that is a lot of money to spend for two nights every two years. I think we owe the taxpayers more for their money than that,” he said.