MI gets new voting machines - WNEM TV 5

MI gets new voting machines

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

When you head to the polls in a couple of weeks you could be using some brand new election equipment.

The state has installed new polling machines all across the state. The machines, which are state of the art in both security and accessibility, were bought using funding provided by the federal government more than a decade ago. The funding came after the infamous Florida election recount in 2000 that lead to George Bush's victory of Al Gore.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson explained while most states spent their funding right away, Michigan's lawmakers decided to wait and save up their $30 million.

Now the time has come as the current machines are well past the expiration date.

"They were able to come up with the extra $10 million without any fee increases, without any taxes. That at this point the money was already there. We just saved it for a very long time," Johnson said.

She said the voting machines also come with an added security feature in the form of paper ballots rather than card stock.

"One of the reasons is we have paper ballots, not everyone does. So if there's ever a concern you can go back and look at those paper ballots and check them. We can recheck them with machines, with individuals looking at them anyway we want," Johnson said.

Michigan State Elections Director Sally Williams said the new machines tested well with early voters and passed several federal regulations.

"It's a great way to start. It's a great time to start and it will be a great test. And we'll learn some things, but we had a few counties go in August and it went very smoothly. So we're hoping for the same thing in November," Johnson said.

The new machines will be found in more than 60 counties starting next August.

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