New Voting Machines, Polling Centers Proposal Could Make Voting Easier in Craighead County

Jul 23, 2018

Credit Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Craighead County has 120 new voting machines. The State of Arkansas has been helping counties statewide with the purchase of new electronic machines.  The state provided matches and will reimburse Craighead County 75-thousand dollars of the 380 thousand dollars that was budgeted for the replacement of the current machines.  Election Systems and Software of Omaha, Nebraska has been in Jonesboro delivering the new machines to where are stored at the Craighead County Election Annex building. 

The new machines will be used in the November election.  During a meeting of the Craighead County Election Commission, it was recommended that the Craighead County Quorum Court receive a memo for consideration of passage that would make every current polling site a polling center.  The polling center would allow for any person in the county to go to any polling site and vote, as opposed to going to one specific site.  Commissioner Jeanette Robertson says this will make the voting process a lot easier voters.

“This will help those voters that are not sure where their polling sites are and have to drive out of the way just to vote,” says Robertson.  “This will simplify the process.”

Commissioner Scott Troutt says he is extremely pleased with the proposal.

“It is the best things that have come along in many years,” says Troutt.  “This will help in providing more resources for those polling sites that may not have enough and we will be able to see things in real time, which will make it easier for people to vote.”

The commission will send the letter to the Quorum Court to be decided in two weeks.  Robertson says the machines will be more accurate, and information will be faster to be tabulated, as each machine can have information uploaded to a flash drive.  Also, individual polling sites can be monitored in real time as to how busy it is.  If one site is a lot busier than another, voting machines can be pulled and taken to the busy location to help in making the process faster. 

The county will sell unused printer rolls and packs from the previous machines to counties in other states that are using the equipment Craighead County used before switching.  Also, thumb drives for the new machines will be purchased, as well as the 60-thousand ballots that will be used for the November election and paper rolls for the new machines. 

Credit Johnathan Reaves, KASU News
Credit Johnathan Reaves, KASU News