Hinds County is poised to purchase an all-new electronic voting system that some supervisors say will be more efficient and less costly to maintain than the decade-old, touch-screen system now in use. The $1 million investment would be paid for with federal Help America Vote Act dollars. Hinds County has about 200 voting precincts and about 146,000 registered voters. Of the state’s 82 counties, Hinds is the only one using its particular type of voting equipment, Advanced Voting Solutions with WINvote. Seventy-six other counties are using the Diebold/ES&S TSX voting machine, which has an optical scanner and its own tabulation system.
The Hinds County board is considering switching to an optical scanner system, said District 1 Supervisor and board president Robert Graham. “The machines we have are no longer manufactured, and the people who manufactured them no longer provide support,” he said. “We are looking so intently at the optical system because it’s what the majority of the state is using, and the secretary of state’s office recognizes it.”
But District 4 Election Commissioner Connie Cochran and Circuit Clerk Barbara Dunn say the current system works well and is easily maintained by the county’s own technician and that there’s no need to spend taxpayer funds for an overhaul.