New voting machine on display
ELKINS — Randolph County citizens heading to the polls this spring will be greeted by brand new voting machines
The county received 91 new ExpressVote machines in July. One of the new voting machines is currently set up in the county clerk’s office at the Randolph County Courthouse, and citizens are urged to come in and try it out.
“We are trying to get everyone to come in and do a demo to see how they work before the election,” Randolph County Clerk Brenda Wiseman told The Inter-Mountain Wednesday. “Everyone is welcome to come in and see how they work.”
The new machines replaced the Ivotronics devices the county used from 2006 until the 2020 election.
“Invotronics is still a good system and I liked those machines, but they were just getting outdated,” Wiseman said. “And the secretary of state’s office wanted all of the counties to be more up-to-date with their equipment. They are wanting all of the counties to change to the machines we have now.”
The total cost for the new machines came was $589,898, but the county was able to take advantage of the HAVA CARES Act Grant that paid $302,138.70 of that total. The rest of the money owed will be paid through a loan with Election Systems and Services, who make the machines. The loan will be for three years at zero percent interest. The older machines were also recycled back to the company and a credit was given for that on the purchase of the new machines.
“The reason we went ahead and got the machines when we did is because of the grant,” Wiseman said. “The grant cycle only lasts a certain amount of time, and if you didn’t take advantage of it, then you couldn’t get it. That saved us a little over $300,000 and the other ones weren’t going to last forever. So this was a good opportunity for us to get the HAVA grant funds to help pay for them.”
Wiseman said voters shouldn’t have any issues operating the new machines.
“You actually have a paper card that you insert into the machine. You’re still going to touch the screen to make your selection like you did with the old machines, but these print out a card you’ll have in your hands to see who you actually voted for, because its printed out on that card,” she said.
“The cards are then inserted into a big ballot box that tabulates the votes when they’re put in. All the information will be collected from there onto a jump drive and that is what’s taken back to the courthouse on election night to get the results from each precinct.”
Wiseman said the new machines will make it easier on the workers who tabulate all the votes.
“I think it’s going to be easier for the poll workers at the end of the night because they just push a button and it collects the votes from the jump drive,” said Wiseman. “Plus we will have a backup jump drive also, in case something would happen with the first one. Then of course we will always have the actual ballots to look at if we have to.”