Voting Machines

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COLUMBIA - The Boone County Election Advisory Board and county clerk are looking into purchasing new voting machines.

Representatives invited people to see the old equipment Monday to show the need for new equipment.

"It was our initial meeting to have members of the community come in and see what our current equipment looks like and to really understand our need for purchasing new equipment down the road," Boone County Clerk Taylor Burks said.

The voting machines currently used throughout the county are 12 years old and cost around $1.1 million. The current pricing for new machines is lower than that.

"What we're planning or sort of the ballpark we see is $800,000 to a million dollars to replace what we have," Burks said. 

The main focus for the county is to keep costs low so there does not have to be a tax increase. The county also wants to ensure no mishaps occur when it comes to election day.

Burks used a comparison of cell phones and cars when describing the need to update the voter machines.

"If you have a cell phone, imagine using a 12-year-old cell phone this day in age. It's just something like a car or any other piece of technology, things get outdated," he said.

Burks said the county has never had an issue on election day that was not easily fixed. He said a major concern with old technology is that more problems will keep happening.

"We have a great staff here who works to fix the errors that we do have, but, increasingly, we've seen issues on election day in the past several years," he said.

Burks said everything is secure with the current voter machines, but the county wants to continue to plan long-term for any issues that could happen. 

County officials plan to submit a budget to purchase new equipment in 2019. There is a possibility the proposal will be done by the end of this year.