Minnehaha County election workers will be able to count ballots faster this fall. Commissioners approved the purchase of two high-speed ballot-counting machines Tuesday, using $217,625 from the Help America Vote Act. The new machines can count 300 ballots a minute, more than twice as many as the four old machines that are being replaced. The new tabulators will used for this fall’s general election. Auditor Bob Litz said that will make results available more quickly on election night. Even as the county population grows, he said they’ll be able to keep up with ballot counting “and still not break a sweat.”
A new company also will print the ballots, taking out some of the middlement, Litz said. He hopes that will reduce the potential for errors.
The new machines also will be faster with problem ballots, Litz said. The old tabulators would shut down when they came across a ballot that was wrinkled or mismarked. The new machines will spit those ballots in a tray and continue counting.
That could make a difference with folded absentee ballots. Counting those ballots delayed results during the city and school board elections in April. The city and school district use the county’s ballot counting machines.
Full Article: High-speed ballot-counting machines coming for fall election.