The Lee County Board of Elections is looking into the purchase of two upgrades for its voting system.
The programs are ExpressVote and Electionware, according to Jeni Harris, director of elections.
One is ExpressVote, software that meets compliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Harris said.
Precincts are now equipped with a system that reads the ballot choices aloud to the voter and will reach back what has been selected, according to Harris.
The new one does basically the same thing, but uses a different setup, she said.
A voter’s selections are printed on a card that the voter receives and is then fed into the tabulation machine.
The new software can also translate ballots into Spanish, Harris said.
If the ExpressVote software is purchased, there must be one at each of the county 10 voting precincts and two one-stop voting sites.
Harris wants to order 14 sets at a cost of $3,300 each. The purchase will be funded through grant money, she said.
An upgrade for election management software will be needed if the ExpressVote program is purchased, Harris said.
The Electionware program is reporting software that will be used in a back end computer that’s not connected to a specific network, Harris said.
There’s no cost for the upgraded election management program, she said.
Once the full board has made a decision, a recommendation on the selection will be made to the Lee County commissioners.
“We’ll have a simulated election that will be open to the public and do everything like we do on Election Day,” Harris said.
That won’t happen until the commissioners approve the purchase, she added.
However, the board will be reviewing the choices Wednesday and the demonstrations are open to the public.
The public can access the meeting through a link provided by the elections office. Two demonstrations of the voting system are scheduled at 1 and 4 p.m.
Software demonstrations are scheduled at the board’s 5:30 p.m. meeting.
In-person attendance will be allowed, but will be limited to due to COVID-19 restrictions.
A second software demonstration will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
For information, call the elections office at 919-718-4646.