Marshall County to update voting equipment

Voting equipment in Marshall County will get a $275,000 update over the course of the next two years.

The equipment purchase was approved by the board of supervisors Tuesday and will include 27 precinct count tabulator machines and 22 ADA compliant ballot marking devices.

County Auditor Dawn Williams said the current equipment, as with any technology, has reached the end of its life after 15 years. It’s still reliable equipment, she said, but new developments in the system require an upgrade.

The new equipment selected is the Unisyn OpenElect digital optimal scan voting system.

“I believe this is the equipment we need and I believe this is the time for us to make that purchase,” Williams said.

She said she has been budgeting for this equipment and saving for the purchase in recent years.

“We won’t be levying additional tax dollars for this,” Williams said. “This will be paid for out of money already in general supplemental funds.”

She said the new equipment will provide for essentially the same experience at the polls for voters.

“Marshall County voters will have substantially the same experience at the polls with this system – marking a paper ballot and inserting it into a tabulator to count their votes,” Williams said.

Supervisors Chair Dave Thompson said they have known this purchase was coming down the road and did plan budget-wise with Williams.