Shawnee County unveils new and improved voting equipment

Published: Jun. 17, 2016 at 2:36 PM CDT
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The Shawnee County Election Office is hoping to become one of the first counties in the state to provide election results.

“We’re hoping Shawnee County can be on the first counties in Kansas to report results because of the new equipment,” said Mark Stock, assistant election commissioner, Shawnee County. “Because of the new equipment, the reliability, the new technology should make it much faster.”

On Friday residents had the chance to try out the new equipment for themselves as the Shawnee County Election Office held on open house.

“A lot of folks are intimidated by technology and new technology and we want to get them familiar so that they aren’t intimidated when they go to the polls on Election Day,” Stock said.

The Shawnee County Commission approved the new voting equipment in March at a cost of $1,749,052.65. Election Commissioner Andrew Howell told commissioners some of the old equipment was 20 years old and that the presidential election could not be ran using it.

The new equipment is meant to have better accountability, and Stock hopes it also will bring out more voters.

“Having the confidence their vote will count,” Stock said. “It’s easy and convenient because that’s what voting should be, easy and convenient for the voter.”

With the new equipment voters are expected to get through the line faster, and results could also come sooner.

“It’s much faster,” Stock said. “Really where we’ll see a lot of the speed, not only will be at the polls on election day, but then also uploading the results and getting those out to the media and to the candidates and the voter to know how the returns of the election went.”

The equipment will be put to the best during the August primaries, Aug. 2.