2017-07-20 / News

Burton to get new voting equipment

810-452-2645 • tterry@mihomepaper.com

BURTON — The city of Burton will be getting new voting equipment in late August from Hart Intercivic, Inc. City council members voted unanimously at a recent regular city council meeting to approve and authorize for the mayor and city clerk to execute the State of Michigan Help America Vote Act Agreement for the purchase of some of the equipment. Council also voted unanimously to approve and authorize for the mayor and city clerk to purchase additional needed equipment not provided by the State of Michigan in the amount of $16,863 plus freight.

The city will be getting an updated tabulator through State of Michigan Help America Vote Act Agreement funds.

“The other one is over 10 years old,” said Burton City Clerk Teresa Karsney. “We’re unable to get parts for it anymore.”

The State of Michigan Help America Vote Act provides for federally granted money for state equipment. When a tabulator was purchased for Burton 10 years ago under the act, all Burton’s money was not used.

“The state of Michigan put in $10 million, and we had $30 million in the fund from 10 years ago,” Karsney said.

Each county got to select the election equipment they are going to use. John J. Gleason, county clerk, selected Hart Intercivic, Inc. from among three choices of companies to get the equipment through. The other choices were Dominion Voting System, Inc. and Election Systems and Software (ES&S). Eleven counties throughout Michigan chose Hart. Seven chose ES&S, nine chose Dominion and six haven’t chosen at all.

Under the agreement, Burton has also received e-poll books, which scan licenses when people vote, as well as autoMARKS, which read ballots aloud using a headset, and also help disabled individuals who find it difficult to mark a ballot.

The new equipment will also read and mark the ballot for disabled individuals.

Municipalities only had to pay for batteries, spare equipment in case tabulators go down and a berity key, which allows more than one person to test the equipment. A charging machine was also on Burton’s list of needed items.

The city does a pre-test and a public accuracy test before each election. Genesee County posts the public accuracy test in the newspaper for anyone to come and watch. The test is usually the Tuesday before the election at 10 a.m. Before the upcoming primary, the public can watch the testing of the old equipment.

Genesee County is going live on the new equipment in November.

Karsney said she felt it was great Michigan had money left over, and a lot of states did not have money left over. She said the new equipment will allow voting to remain as accessible in Burton as it has been.

“I think our lines are very short in this city compared to other municipalities because of all the voting locations we have available,” Karsney said. “Each polling location is also centrally located.”

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