There’s a lot of uncertainty whether or not Guilford County and about 20 other counties across the state will be required to purchase new types of voting machines this year, but a change is coming at some point – and Guilford County and some other counties are now in the process of selecting which machines they buy.
There are several choices that have been certified so far as acceptable by the NC Board of Elections and in the coming weeks Guilford County election officials will get input from the citizens and begin debating that decision.
To that end, on Friday, Sept 13 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Guilford County Board of Elections will be putting on an exhibit of the contending machines at the Cameron Campus of Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) in Colfax. Local election officials stress that that’s not to be confused with the Jamestown Campus of GTCC.
“We are hosting a regional demo,” Guilford County Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt said, adding that a public notice of the event should be going out soon.
Not long after that public demonstration of the machines, the issue is likely to be discussed – and potentially even decided – by the county’s Board of Elections.
“The next meetings after will be September 17th and 24th,” Collicutt said, “I expect at least discussion then.”
Forsyth County is following the same path: Before approving the purchase of new voting machines, the Forsyth County Board of Elections is hosting a public demonstration of newly certified equipment to be used beginning in 2020. That will be on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Forsyth County Government Center at 201 N. Chestnut St. in Winston-Salem. That event will be held on the 4th floor of that building.
There’s still a chance that state legislators might grant an extension as to when the counties have to purchase the new machines, but given that the end of 2019 is fast approaching, these boards have little choice but to move forward with the process.
The estimated cost of purchasing new voting machines for Guilford County has been stated to be about $7 million to $8 million by county officials.