Washoe County to get new voting machines by end of year
Washoe County will spend $4.2 million on new voting equipment and software to use for the primary election.
It will cost the county a total of $4,219,000. The Legislature approved $1.7 million to assist Washoe County, and the Secretary of State will distribute the funding during this fiscal year. Tax dollars will cover the remaining $2,519,100.
The initial $1,896,125 is to be disbursed in the fiscal year 2018 and the remaining $622,975 in the fiscal year 2019.
Washoe County registrar of voters Luanne Cutler said the current machines are from 2004 and overdue for an upgrade. The life expectancy for one of these machines is an average of 10 years.
"We're always looking at security and the integrity of the process," said Cutler. "So we want best for the voters to keep the election secure and safe."
Cutler also said the county needs to keep up with the technology. She added that these new machines would be similar to the ones already in place. They will stand alone and have no connection to the internet. This will make it impossible to hack from the outside.
"We're not concerned about any risk of fraud with this new equipment.," said Wayne Thorley, deputy secretary for elections.
In addition to the machines are electronic poll books. This is design to help speed up the voting process by allowing voters to sign in on an electronic pad as opposed to a book.
Washoe County Commissioners approved the entire expenditure through the capital improvement project. More than 1,300 machines will be replaced in the county, with officials planning to have the new machines by the end of the year to run tests and trial elections before June 2018.
Two vendors are certified in Nevada - Election Systems & Software and Dominion Voting.