Kent, 7 other counties using new voting machines Tuesday

Hart ES&S Dominion
Left to right: Hart, Election Systems & Software and Dominion's voting systems.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Voters in eight more West Michigan counties will encounter new machines when they head to the polls Tuesday.

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Kent, Kalamazoo, Mecosta, Newaygo, Calhoun, Branch, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties will all roll out their new voting equipment, which features a touch screen option to aid voters with a disability.

While most people will go through the traditional process of filling out a paper ballot and feeding it into the new tabulator, Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons expects the touch screen option will appeal to younger voters.

The new tabulators should lead to faster results, since the machines send ballot information directly to the county clerk when the polls close. The devices can also better read votes, notifying voters if they’ve picked too many candidates in a race.

The state has approved three vendors to provide their voting machines for local election use: Dominion, ES&S and Hart. Most counties chose Dominion’s voting equipment, which is distributed by Grand Rapids based Election Source.

Ottawa and Muskegon counties were the first to roll out their new voting machines in August. Both of those counties use the Hart system.

The other West Michigan counties are making their switch at the following times:

Nov. 7, 2017:

  • Kalamazoo County | ES&S system
  • Kent County | Dominion system
  • Calhoun County | Dominion system
  • Branch County | Dominion system
  • Mecosta County | Dominion system
  • Newaygo County | Dominion system
  • St. Joseph County | Dominion system
  • Van Buren County | Dominion system

2018:

  • Allegan County | Dominion system
  • Barry County | Dominion system
  • Ionia County | Hart system
  • Montcalm County | Hart system
  • Oceana County | Dominion system