New voting machines coming to Manchester
All of Washtenaw County, including all five Manchester-area precincts, will be receiving new voting machines this fall. Hart InterCivic’s Verity Voting system will replace aging election equipment and includes ballot tabulators, accessible devices for voters with disabilities, and election management software.
The state of Michigan has mandated and funded the replacement of all election equipment statewide. Each county clerk was required to select one of three certified voting systems. “After research and helpful input from city and township clerks, my staff and I concluded that Hart’s system is the best choice to meet the needs of Washtenaw County voters, and the most adaptable to future changes in election administration,” explained Washtenaw County Clerk/Register of Deeds Larry Kestenbaum. “The new system will continue to use optical scan paper ballots, which can always be recounted by hand,” he said. “The voting experience will change very little. Our ballots will look slightly different, with boxes on the left (in front of each name) instead of ovals on the right.”
Funding for all essential components and for service and maintenance for 5 years will be provided entirely by the State of Michigan through a combination of Federal Help America Vote Act and State-appropriated funds, which will be disbursed to county and local governments through grant awards. Grant funding will provide one ballot tabulator per precinct, one accessible voting device per polling location, software for the county to program ballots and disseminate election results, certain accessories, and maintenance for five years. Training for county and local election officials and poll workers will begin in late August or early September; voters will use Verity for the first time in November, 2017.