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County's voting machines to be replaced

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The touchscreen voting machines that were the county’s first move away from paper ballots have fallen victim to updates in technology.

After being used in 10 elections, the machines are considered obsolete, and the county can’t buy parts to repair them when they break.

Soon, the county will be looking to buy something new.

The current machines still will be used in the November general election and next year, when voters cast ballots in federal, state and county races, Johnson County Clerk Sue Anne “Susie” Misiniec said.

But at the end of 2012, the county’s contract with its voting machine vendor Election Systems and Software, or ES&S, ends, meaning the county could decide to hire another company for election services such as maintaining and programming voting machines and preparing and printing ballots.

Since the current machines are considered obsolete, that would be the time to buy something new, Misiniec said.

And vote centers, which the county is working to implement, would significantly reduce the number of polling places and therefore the number of machines needed, she said.

Election officials haven’t started looking at vendors or possible costs at this point because there is time before a decision will need to be made, she said.

See Tuesday's Daily Journal for more information.

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