Madison County will have to invest more than $433,000 in new voting equipment before the next presidential election. The local Board of Elections at its monthly meeting inside its offices Sept. 20 discussed a plan to break up the expense over three years. “We’ll be replacing the whole voting system, the whole shooting match,” said Kathy Ray, the board’s director. “In addition to the equipment, we’ll need new supplies and materials to accommodate the new voting system.” The purchase is necessary because the machines currently in use, touchscreen iVotronic models, will be decertified by the state Sept. 1, 2019. That change will force the county to buy new machines that meet state guidelines. “The county commissioners need to know this,” board chairman Jerry Wallin said of the imminent expenditure, adding that the funds will come out of the budget crafted by the five-member panel. Wallin said he hand-delivered a memo outlining a plan to divide the expense over the next three budget years. “Did the county manager (Forrest Gilliam) pass out?” board member Dyatt Smathers asked with a smile.
The investment would begin with a $162,000 expenditure this year, followed by $61,000 in budget year 2018-19, ending with a $220,000 payment in 2019-20, according to Ray. The current machines would still be in use for 2018 elections. All new machines would need to be in place for municipal elections in 2019.
“Phasing it in might give the commissioners some relief,” Wallin said. “But, it’s still expensive.”
“It will give us some relief, too,” Ray said, pointing out that getting new machines over three years would allow election officials and poll workers to get up to speed with the new technology. “Phasing it in would allow us to get ready.”
Full Article: Replacing outdated machines will cost Madison $400,000.