Black Hawk County’s election system is ill-equipped to deal with the skyrocketing number of voters using absentee ballots. Grant Veeder, the county’s auditor and commissioner of elections, is seeking an estimated $532,000 in next year’s county budget to help purchase new voting equipment and software. The 76 precinct ballot scanners and 66 accessible ballot marking devices — purchased in 2008 with federal Help America Vote Act dollars — still work. But the system lacks a large central count machine that could efficiently tally the stacks of absentee ballots. “We’re trending towards half the votes in the state being absentee,” Veeder said.