OCEAN COUNTY – The County will be buying new voting machines that will be put into use during the Primary Election in June.
The Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of the machines recently. Commissioner Virginia E. Haines, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Elections said 850 Election Day voting machines and 72 early voting machines are being purchased from Election Systems and Software at a cost of $9.4 million.
Haines said, “following a thorough review of voting machines available to us, we chose Election Systems and Software based on reliability and efficiency. This purchase also includes all ancillary equipment, software, licensing and maintenance costs.”
The Ocean County Board of Elections conducted an in-person assessment of New Jersey certified election machines at the Toms River branch of the Ocean County Library, on November 21.
Commissioner Haines said that based on the presentations, “it was determined the best machine would be Election Systems and Software, LLC, Express Vote XL Voting systems.”
County officials noted these machines provided greater ease for casting a ballot especially during early voting when a paper ballot is produced as part of the voting process.
“By replacing all of our voting machines we will provide uniformity and familiarity for the voters. Training our poll workers will be easier and we will not have to merge data between two different brands of voting machines,” Haines said.
The purchase will involve a newer software version of the Election Systems and Software machines which include greater safety protocols ensuring ballots can only be read once.
Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners Joseph H. Vicari said “the new machines have received a thorough review by the Board of Elections and the Board of Commissioners. It’s important our voters know we did our due diligence before deciding on which new voting machine would be purchased.”
It is anticipated that the County will receive a $2 million credit from Election Systems and Software for the voting machines it currently has.
The new voting machines are expected to be delivered in the next several weeks.