Alcorn gets more machines for summer voting

Suggested hed: Alcorn gets more machines for summer voting

By Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

ALCORN – A delivery late last week has allayed worries of the Alcorn County Election Commission and circuit clerk about 15 electronic voting machines needed for this summer’s primary elections.

Less than two weeks after the Board of Supervisors approved the purchase, more machines were on the premises, said Circuit Clerk Joe Caldwell.

“As soon as we got authorization from the board I got on the phone with Diebold and the Secretary of State’s Office to tell them we needed them by June 1 or we’d have to wait until the fall election,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell told the board the machines and paper trail materials will cost about $3,000 each, with the total expected at $45,000.

“We ordered through the Secretary of State’s Office and they delivered from a warehouse they have in Jackson, so we still got the discount state purchases qualify for,” Caldwell said.

Added to the 95 machines the county already has, the total available for the next election will be 110.

Election officials had their first experience using the new electronic machines during judicial elections last fall. They found some delays for voters when the paper cartridges that record the votes were being changed in a machine, or when a machine malfunctioned.

About 10,000 electors voted in that election, but the presidential election in 2004 drew more than 14,000 voters. Caldwell expects more than 14,000 in this fall’s election, with some 150 candidates on the ballot.

“Because we have such a large ballot, the voting process will be lengthy,” Caldwell said. “I think we’ve done a good job of educating our voters on using the new machines, but if there is anyone out there who hasn’t voted on one yet, we have a demo set up here in the office and I encourage them to come in learn how to use it.”

Contact Daily Journal Corinth Bureau reporter Lena Mitchell at 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com