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Election officials search for different voting machines

UTAH STATE CAPITOL – The Lieutenant Governor’s Office is hoping the public can help them find a better voting machine than the one the state is currently using.  Five different companies are bidding to become the new machine supplier, and their devices were put on display at the Capitol Building.

“Currently, we have aging voting equipment.  It’s over a decade old,” according to Elections Director Mark Thomas.  He says they’re searching for machines that have the latest in security, can tabulate votes quickly and machines that they can audit easily.

Plus, he says they have another problem.  The machines that the state uses are not able to handle the growing number of people using vote by mail.  Thomas says the 21 counties that had “vote by mail” had a higher turnout than the eight counties that didn’t.  However, processing those ballots took longer than desired.  He says, “That was part of the concern we heard from voters and from elected officials.  There was a delay in getting those results out because we don’t have the equipment to be able to process those in a timely manner.”

The voters who sampled the machines at the Capitol were surveyed about which ones they think worked best. Plus, a state committee is meeting with each of the five companies to see which of them can best fill the state’s needs.  “This is an effort for those counties that are ready to begin implementing the new system heading into 2018,” Thomas says.