Small Counties to Get New Voting Equipment

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JACKSON COUNTY-- A new report shows most Americans will use outdated voting equipment to elect the next president; however, that's no longer case for voters in Jackson County.

The early 2000's was the last time many North Florida counties purchased new voting equipment.

"Small counties have very tight budgets," Florida Secretary of State, Ken Detzner, explained. "The State of Florida has a fund of money that was appropriated to us from the federal government known as the HAVA, or Help America Vote Act money, and we found it necessary to support the small counties."

That's support that many other counties and states still need.

A recent New York University report found that 43 states will use voting equipment in 2016 that is roughly 10 years old.

"The current equipment we have is just outdated equipment as far as the software," Jackson County Supervisor of Elections, Sylvia Stephens, said.

But thanks to the state, voters in 12 North Florida counties including Jackson, Holmes, and Gadsden counties are getting the latest devices.

"People will be able to go through the lines and vote on a[n] easier basis and make sure that everybody's vote counts. That's very important, and that the equipment is reliable," Detzner said.

Reliable equipment that's costing $1.5 million. All being covered by the state.

"That will save our county $130,000 for new equipment. So I'm very excited that our taxpayers personally won't be having to pay for this equipment."

Stephens says she hopes to have more than 20 new devices in place within the next two months. Officials say including these 12 counties, almost 40 will have new equipment.

The NYU report suggests it could cost more than a billion dollars to updated the country's voting technology.