Starke County Election Board to Upgrade Voting Machines

The Starke County Election Board members will be looking into upgrading the county’s Microvote voting machines.

As explained by Board President Harrison Fields in a public meeting last week, there were some issues with some machines in the 2018 General Election where buttons were sticking when a voter selected a candidate. Additionally, the county had to borrow machines to assist North Bend Township voters.

“We had to borrow from this Microvote because I think it was mainly over the Culver schools with that referendum,” said Fields. “These machines we’ve got could not accept any more information so we had to borrow three machines for this election. So if we get these machines rebuilt and that, that’ll correct that problem in the future. These machines have just served their time.”

The machines were first purchased in 2003.

Fields said upgrading the machines could cost at least $65,000 which could be spread out over three years. The board members plan to go before the Starke County Commissioners and Starke County Council members to discuss the upgrades in 2019. Clerk Vicki Cooley and a Microvote representative presented information to the governing bodies in a previous meeting. It has to be done by the Presidential Election in 2020.

Meanwhile, the election board members agreed to work with WKVI in getting more updated election results to media watchers on election night. A request was made in person by the news director during the board’s public meetings in June and July of this year, along with Indiana state codes, to provide updated results as often as possible which was not executed during the November General Election. Media watchers were only provided absentee results and the unofficial final results at the end of the evening which hasn’t been the case in past elections.