A vote for upgrades

By: Robin Beal Email
By: Robin Beal Email

ARDMORE, Okla. -- This is of course a busy election year for every state. For folks in Oklahoma, it's no different. State officials there expect their voting machines are in for a real workout. People going to the polls in 2008 could be saying goodbye to those old familiar balloting machines.

Election officials across the country have been looking at better ways to tally people's votes for years now. In fact, state officials in Oklahoma have at least $30 million earmarked for new equipment and that has the ladies at the carter county election board looking to the future.

They say the over 3,000 machines everyone in this state uses have been around for ten to twelve years. They also say it is a great system, but that it is probably time for an upgrade.

The current system uses clunky, heavy equipment and old-style electronic memory cartridges. Officials say they want to retain the basic features, but also improve the technology.

"I think that it will still be paper ballots, but the machines will be more compact, hold more data, a lot lighter weight. These are really heavy, and the older women have a lot of problems loading and unloading these machines because they are so heavy," test clerk Marie Martin says.

The state election board secretary in Oklahoma City says he hopes to see new voting equipment in all 77 counties sometime next year

No word yet on exactly which system will be adopted.

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