Out with the old voting equipment, in with the new for Meridian Township

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLNS) – Out with the old and in with the new…voting equipment that is.

According to Meridian Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus, the new equipment compared to previous years will hopefully make election days a breeze for voters.

“The new equipment will process ballots in a manner that is less likely to be jammed, which is easier to resolve problems, which is more secure, and ultimately makes for a better voting experience,” said Dreyfus.

So how does it work? Dreyfus says it’s all touch screen.

Voters will mark their ballot and slide it into the machine to speed up the process and if there’s an error…

“The machine keeps the ballot inside and secured if there’s a problem and you can look on a digital screen and read what the problem is and then resolve it without anybody having to see what you’re voted ballot would look like,” Dreyfus stated.

Dreyfus says the township improved the voting process for those with disabilities too by introducing a machine called a “Voter Access Terminal” also called a V.A.T.

“This equipment allows a person for example who may be visually impaired to use an input device and be able to produce their own ballot and then that ballot is taken and placed into the tabulator and counted like any other ballot,” Dreyfus added.

Graham Pierce lives in the township and came to test the “V.A.T” and he says it’s a step in the right direction.

“Definitely better than the old systems, definitely better for people with disabilities, it’s a step that is necessary and will help everyone in the community,” said Pierce.

Dreyfus says this new equipment has roughly a 12 year life span.

The township received 19 new voting machines all of which were provided through a $150,000 grant.

Meridian Township spent $4,400 on a backup machine and says this will be the last time state and federal funds will be available.

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