Polk residents invited to see new voting machines
By Leah Justice
Polk County residents will have a chance next Tuesday to give their opinion on which voting machines they prefer for a state-required change for the 2018 election.
The Polk County Board of Elections has invited the public to observe demonstrations of machines on Tuesday, April 14 beginning at 5 p.m. Residents can come to the second floor of the Womack building to see the demonstrations. The board of elections plans to conduct a short survey of residents to see which voters prefer.
At 5 p.m., ES&S Election Systems and Software will be there to show its machine. Then at 6 p.m., Democracy Live is scheduled to show its machine. Residents are also invited to the Polk County Elections board meeting, which will begin Tuesday evening following the machine demonstrations.
The state approved a change in voting laws where all voting machines will be required to include a paper ballot. Polk County’s current machines print a receipt, not a ballot.
Polk County’s current machines are made by Ivotronic which were the only state-approved machines at the time the county purchased them several years ago. The federal government partially funded the new machines years ago but the new machines will have to be funded by the counties.
Polk County currently has more than 50 voting machines.
The new law will go into effect in 2018 requiring the machines to produce a paper ballot.
The 2016 election will be the first where voters are required to show identification prior to casting a ballot. This year’s municipal election workers will ask voters for identification and if a voter does not have identification they will be given information as in the last couple elections.
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