Voting machine proposal heads to committee

Voting machine proposal heads to committee

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A plan to purchase new voting machines was on the agenda Monday as the Craighead County Election Commission met in Jonesboro.

Officials said Monday that the new machines would replace machines that the county has had for over a decade. The older machines have caused multiple issues for county election officials.

Craighead County Judge Ed Hill received a letter May 10 from Chief Deputy Secretary of State Kelly Boyd about funding for the project.

In the letter, Boyd said nearly $6 million was available for upgrading voting machines around the state. The cost to upgrade voting machines in Craighead County is $709,743.23, with the state and Craighead County splitting the costs on a 50/50 basis.

Craighead County would have to come up with $354,871.62, officials said.

The need for new machines is crucial for the 2018 election cycle, officials said, noting the new machines will be beneficial.

"How much time it takes a voter to come in and vote is going to be reduced once the machinery is learned. I think we are going to have a much more efficient voting process. One of the reasons why voters don't want to come vote is because of how long it has to take," Craighead County Election Commission chairman Jeannette Robertson said.

Robertson said while the new machines could change voting precincts, the machines will help with convenience.

"It allows the voter to have this option to go to any of the polling centers and vote rather than having to go to a specific polling place," Robertson said.

The Craighead County Finance Committee is expected to take up the proposal on June 12.

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