Oakland County Voters Test New Machines in Madison Hts

Madison Heights, MI – Preceding a candidate forum hosted by the Madison Heights Community Roundtable, about 50 residents got a chance to learn about the new voting machines that all voters in Oakland County will be using beginning with the Nov. 7 local elections.

Madison Heights Clerk Cheryl Printz gave some background about the new equipment and ran a mini-mock election on the machines, which included fun questions like favorite vehicle type and favorite color.

“The new machines have a scanning system like the old ones, but this is digital and more secure,” she said.  Security folders are still used to protect privacy.

County Clerks were able to choose from three different machines based on a decision by the State of Michigan. Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown picked those made by Hart Intercivic.  The $40 million worth of new equipment was purchased with $30 million in Federal funds and $10 million in State funds, and includes a 5 year warranty program. After that, municipalities will be responsible for purchase of the warranty, maintenance, and licensing.

Printz is excited about the new equipment, including the options for those with accessibility issues.  “There is a privacy booth for those with wheelchairs, touch screen, paddles, and sip and puff,” she said.

“The only thing that’s different is how you mark your ballot,” Printz said. “The old forms were ovals to the right. The new system has rectangles to the left of the name or proposal.”

The Oakland County Clerk’s website has a wealth of information about elections, including where to vote, who is running, how to register and more.  Visit https://www.oakgov.com/clerkrod/elections for more info.

The Oakland County Times (Crystal A. Proxmire, Sept. 15, 2017)