The first shipment of new election equipment for Boone County was delivered in the pouring rain Tuesday afternoon and secured in the new election central location, the former Vision Video building. The Secretary of State’s Office earlier this year chose Election Systems and Software of Omaha, Nebraska, as the vendor to replace the state’s voting machines. Boone County was chosen as one of four counties in a pilot program to begin using the new machines by the March 2016 primary election. ES&S’s bid of $29,928,868 was the highest of three companies interested, but Boone County Clerk Crystal Graddy said in June that it was the only company who had the necessary machines in stock in a warehouse and could deliver them quickly, in time for the 2016 primary election.
The new system will actually print a paper trail, most likely a card that a voter can preview before finally casting the vote for good. The voter’s name will be pulled up on the poll book tablet, which will print a card that will call up each individual voter’s exact ballot.
Graddy said voters will be able to put the card into the machine and pull up their own ballot. The machine will eject the card when the voter is finished and the card will then be put in a machine that will count each ballot.
The voting machines being replaced had been in place in Boone County since 2006, although Boone County did participate in a pilot program for a trial run on those machines as well. Those old voting machines were earlier this month sent to Washington County to upgrade their stock of machines.