Brevard County voters will be using new equipment starting in November. The County Commission this week unanimously approved the $1.5 million purchase. Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott said Brevard currently has among the oldest election equipment in the state, dating back to 1999. Brevard was one of the early adopters that year of “optical scan technology” to read the ballots. She says that equipment now is “aging and outdated,” and the vendor that made it is out of business, so spare parts are difficult to come by. “We can’t continue to limp through like that,” Scott said. With the new equipment, voters will continue to mark a paper ballot. But the new equipment that will collect and tabulate those ballots will make it easier for election workers to spot any problems with improperly completed ballots. “This is a much more user-friendly unit,” Scott said.
… As part of the purchase from Election Systems & Software, Brevard also is getting new equipment for use by disabled voters. Scott said the equipment will put the county in compliance with a state mandate that takes effect in 2020, requiring elections equipment for the disabled include paper ballots.
Disabled voters will continue to cast their ballots on a computer screen, but the computer will generate a paper ballot that will comply with the state law requiring a “paper trail” of the vote.