Boone County shows off new voting machines

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COLUMBIA - Boone County officials showed off new voting machines Tuesday.

The machines are touchscreen and will make their debut in the March presidential primaries.

Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon said the new machines will make voting easier.

"I think voters will see a faster process, if they choose to use the touchscreen," she said. "It's a lot more intuitive. And it provides a paper backup, which is really nice."

Lennon said while the county had touchscreens in the past, they weren't used for all elections. They will now be available for every future election.

"Everything is being tabulated in one machine," Lennon said. "So voters still have the option of voting on a pre-printed paper ballot or using the touchscreen, but all of those ballots will be counted in one machine."

She said voters aren't the only ones benefiting from the switch.

"For poll workers, that's a really nice change," Lennon said. "They only have to worry about one piece of equipment at the end of the night."

Lennon said voters shouldn't worry about election security problems with the new machines.

"None of these are ever connected to the internet, and we program in-house and that is also not connected to the internet," she said. "So we do everything that we can to make sure that we have the integrity maintained both in our protocols, with our election judges and in our office."