Nevada counties have 600 new voting machines | NevadaAppeal.com
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Nevada counties have 600 new voting machines

Sequoia Voting Systems has now delivered 600 of the 1,935 electronic voting machines the state will get by election day in September.

But the printer units, that will let voters make sure the machines properly recorded their votes, are still being tested. They must be certified before they can be delivered to county clerks and installed on the touch-screen voting machines.

Sequoia officials said all Nevada counties have at least enough machines to begin training staff including poll workers. Nine counties including Carson City and Storey have all their voting machines. Carson received 130 machines last week because they already have a secure storage area. Storey officials only needed 14 machines to handle their elections.

Douglas County Clerk Barbara Reed said her office has just 10 of the 160 machines they need. Lyon has 10 of 115 and Churchill County 10 of 75 machines.

Sequoia will provide all Nevada counties except Clark and Washoe with assistance in programming their ballots into the new machines. Clark and Washoe are large enough to have trained staff of their own to do the programming.

Secretary of State Dean Heller has ordered all Nevada counties to use the new machines. But he has also mandated that, except in Clark County, those machines have the printers which allow voters to verify their ballot on paper before finalizing it. Clark is exempt because election officials there have been using the Sequoia electronic system for several elections already and voters have not demanded paper ballot printouts.

Sequoia and the Secretary of State’s office are working to get the certifications completed as soon as possible.

Carson City Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover and other area clerks said they are most concerned about the training schedule for their staff and poll workers – as well as the outreach program to educate voters. Reed said she expects most voters will like the new machines once they try them in the primary. They said the machines are similar to an ATM.

Glover said one of the challenges is going to be explaining to voters that, although the machines will print a paper ballot saying who they voted for in each race, they can’t take it home with them. Federal election law prohibits voters from having a receipt which states how they voted to prevent the unscrupulous from selling their votes. That means the printed ballot remains inside the machine when the voter is finished.

Contact Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.