Commissioners OK purchase of new voting equipment

Milam County Commissioners approved an agreement to purchase new voting equipment for the county during a meeting on June 26.

The agreement with HART Intercivic will cost the county $381,749 for the equipment.

The new units feature a tablet and touch-screen voting. They will streamline the process. They are also lighter and easier to store and move around.

The Texas Secretary of State may soon decertify the equipment the county currently uses, but there is no date set for that.

Texas required counties to buy electronic voting machines in 2005. That is when Milam County purchased the current equipment it uses for voting.

Commissioners discussed purchasing the equipment with a contractual obligation note similar to the one they are currently using to finance the new county building in Thorndale. The county will pay over eight years with a balloon payment for most of the amount coming in the eighth year when the county’s bonds from the construction of the law enforcement center will be paid off.

Milam County Clerk Barbara Vansa thanked the court for moving forward with purchasing the equipment saying it is time.

The equipment the county currently uses is 12 years old and has had some issues during voting over the last few years.

The cities and school districts in the county will also be expected to buy new equipment.