Home > activity > [z93 country]Pulaski County Approves Deal for New Voting Machines
[z93 country]Pulaski County Approves Deal for New Voting Machines

  Pulaski County will be getting its first new voting machines in about a dozen years.

  Members of the Pulaski County Fiscal Court approved last Tuesday the sole bid received from Harp Enterprises and presented by election coordinator Mark Vaught on behalf of the local board of elections.

  Harp’s total bid came to $264,949 — about $10,000 under the county budget. The figure dropped to just over $260,000 once it was determined the county could save $4,935 by recycling the old machines through the local recycling center.

  Vaught told the court that Harp provided the county’s current system. The new Verity system, made by Hart Intercivic (one of the country’s three major voting equipment manufacturers), will include 25 scanners to handle paper ballots and 15 DUO standalone machines which Vaught noted are handicap-accessible.

  In keeping with the changes made during last year’s pandemic that was later codified by state legislators, Pulaski County will be utilizing voting centers as opposed to the traditional polling houses for each of its 56 precincts.

  “We don’t have to have as many [machines],” Vaught explained. “…We’re going to try to run three early voting centers. We have to have separate equipment for up to Election Day and for Election Day as well.”

  Definite early voting centers for early voting (the Friday, Saturday, and Monday before Election Tuesday) include the Hal Rogers Fire Training Center, South Kentucky RECC headquarters, and potentially Rocky Hollow Community Center). Other locations may be added Saturday only in Nancy and Shopville. Vaught went on to say there should be at least 10 voting centers on Election Day, though he’s looking to add the 11th location in Burnside.

  “We can better serve the county,” Vaught explained of consolidating polling locations. “It’s a whole lot less manpower and also saves about $20-25,000.”

  District 4 Magistrate Mark Ranshaw objected that the change left some voters in outlying communities like Mt. Victory and White Lily driving farther to vote, noting some live 15-20 miles from Shopville. Vaught emphasized the savings the county can see with voting centers and noted that most people “come to town” at least once a week. If not, he added, mail-in ballots are still an option.

  Magistrate Ranshaw made the motion to approve the bid with a second from District 5 Magistrate Mike Strunk.

  Following the presentation, Vaught and Harp representative Danny Crum explained that the new system conforms to the latest election security standards. Vaught noted that the county’s current handicap-accessible machines do not produce a traceable paper trail, while the new machines will.

  “We’re trying to make sure that every vote has an actual physical copy,” Vaught said.

  With no election scheduled for this year, the new voting system will be in place the 2022 cycle when county and city offices come up on the ballot.

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