County gets new voting machines before elections

Updated: Mar. 30, 2018 at 5:38 PM CDT
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County Clerk Melanie Winkler (Source: KAIT-TV)
County Clerk Melanie Winkler (Source: KAIT-TV)
County Judge Donnie Sanders (Source: KAIT-TV)
County Judge Donnie Sanders (Source: KAIT-TV)

CROSS COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Several counties in Arkansas have received new voting machines for this year's election season.

One area county didn't think they would make the cut, but they got a second chance.

Cross County Judge Donnie Sanders said he was told the state ran out of funds to replace their voting machines.

But soon after, he received a letter that the state found enough funding to provide machines for two smaller counties, and Cross County jumped at the opportunity.

County Clerk Melanie Winkler said they had the older machines for about 10 years.

Over time, the calibration on the screens started wearing out causing issues for voters.

Winkler wanted to assure voters that the new machines are just as secure as the old ones.

"All the votes are kept on a thumb drive, and those are military grade," Winkler said. "Nothing is out there to be able to be scrambled."

"Our election commission has worked hard," Sanders said. "They work with the county clerk's office to make sure this is going to be a smooth election."

The state fronted half of the cost for the new machines.

And Cross County had to pay the other half, which was about $98,000.

Judge Sanders said because several departments have come in under budget and the county's revenue is steady, they were able to purchase the machines.

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