State lawmakers Tuesday held a rare summer meeting to discuss updating guidelines on voting machine technology. Meanwhile, some elections officials took the opportunity to try and convince the legislators to make broader changes to the commonwealth’s election codes. Wes Perry, assistant director of Elections in Washington County, spoke at Tuesday’s meeting. He said most of the state’s voting machines were bought with a federal grant about a decade ago, and are due to be replaced soon.
He said he is concerned about the costs involved–he pegs the price tag at five million dollars for replacement machines in just his county. But, Perry adds, the money’s not the whole problem.
“Even if the state were to give us a big pot of money, that does not fix the systemic problems,” he said. “The election day issue that’s going to come up if something isn’t done to fix the election code, [is] there will be polls that just won’t open because there’ll be nobody to man them.”