Jefferson County Commissioners have approved the purchase of a new electronic voting system the County Clerk says will ensure the integrity of the elections and is scheduled to be in place for the May elections. Commissioners voted 4-0 to buy the Hart Intercivic eSlate machines. Commissioner Bo Alfred wasn’t at the meeting. The County is buying the machines under a lease-purchase agreement of about $1.7 million. The County will receive a $175,000 discount for buying the machines before the end of the year and a possible $75,000 discount in a buy back from ES and S, the company that sold the county the electronic voting machines it’s been using for about ten years.
“I think it’ll be a good system,” County Clerk Carolyn Guidry told KFDM News. “We won’t have to worry about the calibration issue. We’ll have a lot of voter education on the new system as we approach the May elections. I’m sure we’ll have Beaumont and Nederland elections, and others. It’s user friendly. Instead of a touch screen it has a wheel. But it’s just a training process. They’ll get used to that. We’re ready to move forward with elections and not compromise the integrity of the elections.”
Guidry says her office will ensure voters become trained on the new system. “Any organization can invite us to bring the machine for voter education and to train and teach. We’ll have our own classes at the courthouse and counting stations. We’re excited about it.” Guidry expects Hart to begin delivering the machines in the first part of January.