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Cayuga County, N.Y., to Buy New Voting Machines

The Cayuga County Board of Elections is now moving forward with its plans to buy new voting machines as the current machines reach the end of their useful lifespans.

(TNS) — The Cayuga County Board of Elections is moving forward with plans to buy new voting machines as the current machines reach the end of their useful lives.

Keith Batman, the county's Democratic elections commissioner, said he and John Camardo, the Republican elections commissioner, are hoping to have the new machines for local elections this year. That will allow the board and poll workers to have experience with the technology before the 2024 presidential election.

"We've got to do it because the machines ... it's technology and they get wear and tear and they are aging out, so they've got to be replaced," Batman said.

The current voting machines have been used for the last 14 years. The county purchased the optical scan machines in 2009 to replace the lever machines that had been long used for elections.

Batman detailed the process for buying new voting equipment. The machines must be purchased from vendors approved by the state Board of Elections. The local board has been participating in presentations with vendors to see "what's best for Cayuga County," he said.

As the local Board of Elections determines which machines to buy, poll workers will have a say in the decision. Batman said they are including their Election Day personnel in the process so that they can see the machines and provide feedback.

Because they are still reviewing their options, the cost of acquiring new voting machines is unknown. But Batman estimated that it will cost at least $500,000.

"It's a major purchase," he said. A combination of state and local funds could be used to cover the large expense.

Once the board decides which machines to buy, Batman said they will submit their plan to the county Legislature for approval. Local lawmakers must sign off on the purchase.

© 2023 The Citizen, Auburn, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.