Morgan County will have brand new voting machines for their next election. The Morgan County Commissioners approved a nearly $400,000 upgrade to the county’s voting systems last month. Morgan County Clerk Jill Waggener says the old system was over 20 years old and was beginning to show its age within the last few years with mechanical issues. She says the old system was still secure, but due to wear and tear, she felt it was time to update the entire voting system.
The new Texas-manufactured system made by Hart InterCivic, is the first of its kind to be purchased in the state. Waggener says the new system will be easy to use for both voters and election judges at the next election: “The machines are more compact. I believe they will be easy to navigate. We will start training my staff in my office probably within the next month so that we have several months to get accustomed to it. Then, in March or April, we will probably have 6 to 8 weeks of training for my election judges. We will have the company that I purchased the equipment from to come in and train my technical staff members that I use on election days, and then, they will also come back and do at least one or two trainings with the election judges.”
Waggoner doesn’t believe much will change for the process of voting in person on election days: “I do know that every voter will receive a paper ballot, even if you use the touchscreen there will now be a paper ballot printed. It just won’t be on the tape. Then, that will be put into a very small, compact ballot box. This is just a very compact system compared to what people are used to.”
The next election for the State of Illinois will be the General Primary in June 2022.