Michigan OKs new voting equipment for statewide use by 2018

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan has approved contracts to replace thousands of machines that count paper ballots in elections.

The 10-year contracts with three vendors were authorized by the State Administrative Board Tuesday. Each of Michigan’s 83 county clerks will consult with local clerks on which vendor to choose.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says the new equipment will be in place statewide by the August 2018 primary.

She says $40 million has been allocated to pay most of the upfront cost. Local governments will cover the rest, which will vary depending on the vendor and the cost of service and maintenance.

All of Michigan’s vote tabulators are at least a decade old. State officials have said the recent presidential recount showed the scanners are accurate despite some problems mostly attributed to human error.

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