Polk has new voting machines

Published 10:29 pm Monday, October 14, 2019

ADA compliant machines should be voted on in a couple of months

COLUMBUS— Polk County is gearing up for a new way of voting next year. 

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met last week and heard from county board of elections director Cliff Marr about new paper ballot voting machines that will be required by the state next year. 

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The county has already received 15 DS-200s, which are scanners that will be used at all precincts in the upcoming 2019 election this November. Tryon will be the testing site for an American’s Disability Act compliant machine, which the board of elections plans to recommend in a couple of months. 

The Polk County Board of Elections recently attended a demonstration of the ADA compliant machines. If the testing in Tryon is successful, the board will make a final recommendation for the county commissioners to approve. 

Commissioner Myron Yoder asked how the paper ballots will work. 

Marr said voters will receive their ballots and will take their marked ballots and put them in a scanner. The county already purchased 15 scanners for the paper ballots and plans to purchase 10 ADA compliant machines, so every precinct has one ADA compliant machine. 

Commissioner Paul Beiler asked if with paper ballots it will take longer to cast a vote. 

Marr said he does not think so. He said the county has already acquired a good amount of voting booths. 

“We have not had lines in Polk County since I started,” Marr said. 

The county budgeted $171,000 to purchase the new scanners for this year’s budget, which began July 1. 

The new scanners are part of a new North Carolina law to go to paper ballots.