The state has awarded Washington County about $1.2 million of election equipment, said Jennifer Price, election commission coordinator. “We are getting the new voting equipment,” Price said. “We’re excited.” The Quorum Court accepted the equipment during its meeting Thursday. The county put aside $420,000 for the equipment. Election commissioners have said they were worried the state wouldn’t provide equipment in time for the general election Nov. 8, which is expected to have a large voter turnout. The county’s equipment is from 2006 and was starting to break down, Price said.
The Legislature passed Act 151 of 2015 allowing the secretary of state to replace election equipment up to $30 million, but no money was set aside to pay for it.
In April, seven election commissions, including Washington County, sent lawmakers a letter urging the state to allocate money. The secretary of state’s office confirmed Monday Washington County would receive the equipment, Price said.
The state is slowly replacing voting equipment. About $2.5 million was approved for Boone, Columbia, Garland and Sebastian counties last year. Washington and Yell counties were allotted money this week, Price said.