Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin is scaling back plans to replace the state’s voting machines for next year’s primary and says the new equipment will instead be deployed in just four counties. Martin on Wednesday said Boone, Columbia, Garland and Sebastian counties will be part of a pilot program to replace voting equipment ahead of the March 1 primary. Martin last week selected Nebraska-based Election Systems & Software to replace the state’s voting equipment.
The ES&S bid for replacing all the state equipment would have cost nearly $30 million, but there wasn’t funding available. The pilot program will cost $2.5 million and will be funded by Martin’s office.
Martin said he’ll continue seeking remaining funds needed in hopes of having all counties equipped by the general election.