Cities across Michigan will be breaking in new voting equipment for Tuesday’s primary, following the discovery of irregularities during last year’s presidential election recount and as a commission appointed by the president looks into questions of voter integrity across the country. Detroit, which experienced numerous problems during the November 2016 election, will be the biggest of the 60 cities that will switch to the new voting machines next week. Some 45 counties will have the equipment on board by the November election. All municipalities in the state will be hooked up by the August 2018 primary election. “We knew it was time to get new equipment,” Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said during a demonstration Wednesday of the new equipment in Rochester Hills. “Our equipment was at least 10 years old and nearing the end of its life. Elections are too important to rely on old voting machines.” “They’ve made a lot of changes. We have high hopes for them,” said Sally Williams, the state’s newly appointed elections director.
… “These machines have gone through extensive testing at the federal and state levels,” Williams said. “And there is additional security all through the process.”
The new optical-scan system will no longer need to use more expensive card stock ballots and can use more lightweight paper. And while the new system is quicker in tabulating results, it won’t get rid of long lines because voters can still take as long as they want in the voting booth.
In addition, the new system has the ability to print additional ballots at the voting precincts, alleviating what has been a frequent problem at heavily trafficked precincts running out of ballots on election day.