The implementation of new voting equipment in Livingston County will not only modernize the system, but also reduce programming charges for each precinct.

Voter precincts in the county are currently charged $275 per precinct for election services administered by the County Clerk, which includes ballot programming. The County Clerk has provided election services to municipality clerks since 2006. The fee to do so hasn’t been changed since 2011. Equipment vendors use a formula to calculate the cost of the programming. County Clerk Betsy Hundley chose a new vendor for the county last month, Hart InterCivic Verity, who will supply updated equipment.

The new vendor’s programming fees are less than the old vendors, which Hundley says allows her to happily pass along the savings to township and city clerks. A resolution approved by the Livingston County Board of Commissioners last night authorized a fee reduction, dropping the current charge to $225 per precinct.

Hundley says the benefit from switching vendors and equipment will provide more than cost savings. She says the modern system’s tabulators won’t jam, allowing officials to receive election night results much more quickly. Paper ballots will still be used however, as it is a state requirement for all voting systems.

Hundley says a grant agreement with the state still has to be signed before the actual purchase of the new equipment can be implemented. The county will receive approximately $710,000 in state funding from the grant. The old equipment will be removed and destroyed, and the new equipment will arrive in time for this year’s November election.

Hundley says she had the opportunity last week to try the new system out at an acceptance testing in Oakland County and that she’s “very excited about it.” (DK)