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Cass County Board: Requirements for township use of voting machines approved

WALKER - Townships will have to provide a building with a modern electrical system, heated to at least 55 degrees and free of mice, skunks and other creatures if they want to continue to use county voting equipment for elections.

WALKER - Townships will have to provide a building with a modern electrical system, heated to at least 55 degrees and free of mice, skunks and other creatures if they want to continue to use county voting equipment for elections.

Towns also must show they consistently can recruit a sufficient number of election judges and alternates to continue have an in-person voting precinct at their town hall.

Cass County Board adopted these requirements Auditor-Treasurer Sharon Anderson recommended as part of her report to the board Tuesday about the pending purchase of new voting machines.

A state grant paid much of the cost for the county's existing voting machines but it will be all county cost now that software no longer supports updates to those machines, she said.

This means Cass will pay $6,300 per unit for new vote tabulating machines, plus $130 to $300 for modems. Cass currently has 46 vote tabulators located at 32 polling places.

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Still to be addressed will be the cost for actual voting machines where a person can vote in an on-screen format rather than by paper ballot. Anderson said there is not yet a replacement machine available for those, so cost is unknown.

She is encouraging townships with fewer voters to consider joining those who already have switched to mailed ballots. This could cut the county's total replacement cost, she noted.

Cass could go through the 2016 elections with the current vote tabulators if election laws remain the same, Anderson said, though some problems were experienced during the 2014 election.

The real issue is that current tabulators cannot handle early voting at all if the Legislature approves that this session or next, she said.

Related Topics: CASS COUNTY BOARD
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