September 19, 2014

Arenac County election machines updated

By James Kuch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
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ARENAC COUNTY — Next time voters in Arenac County step into the voting booth, they will be doing so with freshly updated voting equipment.

Arenac County Clerk Ricky Rockwell said that 16 standard machines and 17 handicap marking machines were recently serviced in Omer.

“This was state mandated and state funded,” he said. “We were required to have the machines up to date.”

New programs and system updates were among a number of improvements that had to be made to the election machines.

Rockwell said the updates will ensure that the machines will be ready the next time they will be used.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any major elections coming up,” he said.

Rockwell said that all voting areas are required to have handicap accessible voting machines.

“Even areas with less than 100 voters need to have one,” he said. “These machines are set up so that anyone can use them.”

Rockwell said that a new machine costs around $4,500, adding that a handicap machine costs about $6,700.

He said that most of the county’s election machines were made in 2004.

“We have some machines that are 10 years old,” he said. “Anything over 10 years old we replaced.”

Rockwell said getting the machines updated was something that was needed.

“It’s important that they function well,” he said. “Taking care of these machines is just part of the job.”

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