The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of three electronic ballot-marking machines to be used in conjunction with eight machines provided through the state.
The $18,000 purchase by the county will allow all locations for all elections to be to use the same voting system, which satisfies state and federal laws regarding voting accessibility for disabled people.
Kris Glienke, deputy auditor, explained the system to the supervisors at the regular Tuesday morning meeting.
The ballot marking devices allow voting through touch screens but produces a paper ballot that is counted by the same ballot counter that predates touch screen voting in the county.
The eight machines provided by the state are enough for polling locations used in the federal-state-county elections held on even numbered years in November but the municipal elections held on odd numbered years in November require 11 devices including one for each of the three precincts in Cherokee.
The equipment will immediately detect an overmarked ballot, for example when a person marks three names for a position for which a voter is only supposed to pick two candidates. In this case, the voter is given an opportunity to change the ballot.
Delivery of the equipment is not expected to be in time for the June primaries but will likely be available for the September school board elections. Poll workers will be trained on the new equipment when it arrives.
The supervisors approved a paving project for C-16 between Highway 143 and the Plymouth County line. The three-mile project will cost $597,939, partially paid for through federal funds. DMG Midwest of Estherville is the contractor.
A start date no later than Sept. 15 is required but work could start before then, according to Larry Clark, county engineer.
The supervisors approved hiring Roger Hultman part-time for secondary roads.