If there is one group that doesn’t like to spend money, it’s the Shelby County Commission. But when it comes to voting machines they’re going to have to spend.
Maybe $9-million, maybe $10-million maybe $12-million.
Shelby County Commission Chairman Van Turner says it just has to be done.
“I think its critical,” he says.
Turner has not liked the current machines for most of the 18 years they’ve been in service.
In recent years there have been signs the machines were on the technological level of an abacus.
Especially last month when there were major delays in counting votes in the county general election.
At that time, election administrator Linda Phillips didn’t beat around the bush with her assessment of the eighteen year old machines.
“It is time to replace them,” she said. “It really is. I do have a proposal to replace them and the software that controls them, the servers and everything else that’s ten years old.”
Shelby County Commissioners the LAST group of County Commissioners…felt replacing voting machines was extremely important.
Van Turner says he still feels that way.
“We’ll see exactly what needs to happen,” he said. ” I’m sure we’ll get a report and hear from our election commission. We will have to deliberate and review and decide at that time.”
The cost of replacement might need to be spread out he says.
“It’s probably time for an update,” Turner admits, “and maybe we will have to phase that update in…you know…we do our phase one, two, three and four. That way we are able to do so and its not such a huge price tag all at once.”
They’ll get a chance to see some possible new voting machines later this week.