With its current equipment inventory, the Forsyth County Board of Elections would have to make a tough choice for the 2016 general election: offer fewer early voting sites than it did in 2012 or offer fewer electronic voting machines at each site. Steve Hines, elections director for Forsyth County, presented those scenarios to election board members on Tuesday as part of his pitch for new equipment. He put in a budget request this year for about $1.4 million to replace the county’s voting equipment, which is about 10 years old. County commissioners will decide in the next few months whether to approve the request. In the 2012 general election, Forsyth County had 15 early voting sites, Hines said.
Forsyth County has been using touch-screen voting machines for early voting and paper ballots on Election Day.
Hines said on a good day, Forsyth County has about 95 voting machines available. He said if the county offered 15 early voting sites again, then the county could only put six machines at each site, with a few machines in reserve.
He said at least 10 machines are needed at each early voting site to accommodate voters. Under that scenario, the county could only open nine sites, which would have to stay open long hours to meet the total number of hours required by law.