Logan County Clerk and Recorder Pam Bacon got some welcome news this week while in Fort Collins for the Colorado County Clerks Association three-day winter conference. Wednesday at the conference, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced that he has some funding available to help counties with the purchase of new voting equipment in the next two years. According to a press release from Williams’ office, the state will use $850,000 in federal Help America Vote Act funds to cover 50 percent of a county’s costs to train, test, install and manage the project. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission, which is a unit within the Justice Department and the grantor, approved Williams’ decision.
Logan County is one of 22 counties wanting — or needing — to make the switch to the newly selected statewide system, according to Bacon. She explained that over the past few years, a state panel has been looking at three voting system vendors licensed in the state and trying to determine if one vendor could serve the entire state. Five pilot counties tested the vendors’ equipment and made recommendations to the panel. From that recommendation, Dominion Voting Systems was selected. Last month, Williams announced the state would enter into contract talks exclusively with the company, and they have been in negotiations to get the best equipment prices.
Bacon said that counties won’t be required to make the switch right away, if their existing equipment is serviceable. But the additional funding from the state offers an incentive to purchase the new equipment sooner than later.