Augusta getting 100 used voting machines from Colorado county

Augusta employees Darrell Walker and Anthony Hernandez set up voting machines for the start of advance voting April 26.

Colorado’s switch to voting by mail is Augusta’s gain as Adams County, Colo., donates 100 surplus Diebold TSX voting machines to Richmond County Board of Elections.

 

Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey said a former Columbus, Ga., elections staffer who transferred to Colorado discovered 700 unwanted units there, available to anyone willing to pay shipping and license transfer fees.

The machines “were the exact same system we used in Georgia,” Bailey said. “The only change we’ll have to make is we’ll have to update them to Georgia’s software.”

Augusta will get the machines for approximately $17,000 instead of the $140,000 it would cost to buy them new, Bailey said. “It really is a great deal for Richmond County,” she said.

Bailey told Augusta commissioners who approved the expense Tuesday that Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp assured her the state will use the same voting technology through 2023.

Colorado is gradually changing to a uniform, in-person voting system across all counties, but currently mails all registered voters a ballot prior to elections, according to Just Vote! Colorado, a voting rights group.

The elections board offers advance in-person voting on the touch-screen machines at five Augusta locations and opens approximately 48 polling places each election day.

The Adams County units were inspected by Merle King, executive director for the Center for Election systems at Kennesaw State University, according to the agenda item.

King found the machines “in great shape, showing only light wear and tear on the cases.”

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