The voting machines that handled the primary Tuesday will be getting some upgrades before the fall general election. The Micro-Vote machines have been in service for 20 years in Daviess County but will soon be getting revamped.
“The machines still work fine,” said Daviess County Clerk Janice Williams. “The upgrade will improve the security and allow us to do some things differently in the future if we decide to make changes in the way we do elections.”
The upgrade will include all of the county’s machines. “They will look the same, but basically they will be changing all of the insides of the machines,” said Williams.
Micro-Vote will rework and refurbish the machines. That includes new card readers and changing over the operating system from a Windows XP to a Windows 7. There will be a new motherboard, communication ports and glare shields.
Total cost for the project will be $89,362. “We are looking at possibly applying for a grant to help pay for that,” said Williams. “We are not exactly certain that this work will qualify.”
Williams has presented the proposal to the county council which has approved the work.
“We want to keep those machines as current as possible,” said Council President Mike Myers. “We don’t want to have questions about our elections because of the machines.”
The council has not determined exactly which part of the budget will provide the funding for the machine updates.
The updated machines will add some more flexibility for voting in the future in Daviess County. Currently, the county does not have vote centers or remote locations where people can cast early votes away from the courthouse.
“This upgrade would provide the capability of having electronic poll books,” said Williams. “That way the system will automatically update once a voter casts a ballot. It would eliminate the possibility of someone voting at one center then hurrying to a second one to cast a ballot. These updated machines would eliminate that possibility.”
While there is no firm date to start the work, the clerk wants it done quickly.
“We want it done in time for the fall election,” said Williams. “That would be bad if they weren’t done by then.”
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