Anne Pruss

ANNE PRUSS, Madison County clerk, displays some boxes of express vote, which are thermal pieces of paper that are about 4 inches by 14 inches. The paper ballots are then put into an express vote machine that tabulates them.

MADISON — Madison County and other counties are getting an election equipment upgrade with $11.2 million provided last year by the Nebraska Legislature.

The equipment, which arrived this month at the Madison County Courthouse, makes Nebraska one of the first states to implement the new voting equipment. It will be put in use for the first time during the Tuesday, May 12, primary.

“Their (Nebraska Legislature) concerns are the security issues,” said Anne Pruss, Madison County clerk and election commissioner. “We’re also working with Homeland Security in trying to make sure that the votes are counted and are correct and that we have no compromise.”

Pruss and other members of the county have been receiving training with the new equipment.

Before voters complete their vote, like with the old paper ballot when they darkened ovals, they will have a chance to review all their choices. Once the ballot has been cast in the box, however, it can’t be changed, just like the old system.

While it might sound complicated, Pruss said it should be easier.

“It probably involves more on our end because there are steps we have to go through,” Pruss said, “but if individuals are used to working with an iPad and doing surveys off an iPad, it’s probably no different than that. It’s so simple.”

Pruss and other members of the county went to Columbus and Neligh to learn how to set up the new equipment.

They also will get more hands-on training during the next couple of weeks on how to run the new system.

“Everyone in our office already has had some training, depending on the device,” Pruss said.

Pruss, who is in her first year being in charge of elections after replacing Nancy Scheer, said she is excited about the new equipment.

“I’m really excited about the DS450 and the capabilities of counting ballots,” she said. “Even if a ballot would have a coffee stain or if we have a folded or crumpled ballot — like if it came in the mail — the machine will count that.”

Pruss said she appreciates all the staff in the clerk’s office because of the years of experience they have when it comes to elections.

In other news

PLAINVIEW — The Plainview Pirates left little doubt in anyone's mind who would be the Class D favorite in next weekend's Nebraska State Wrestling Championships in Omaha with a convincing win here in the Class D-1 district wrestling meet Friday and Saturday.

OAKLAND — There's no place like home, and that was especially true for Oakland-Craig junior Trenton Arlt at the Class C District 3 meet over the weekend.

WAKEFIELD — Keith Krueger describes himself as a farmer with a lifetime of experience. That grand scale of experience has followed the downbeat of an Air Force conductor, manifold scores of Krueger’s own musical arrangements and the toe-tapping tunes of the brass quintet The Touch of Brass.

MADISON — A Columbus woman had her probation revoked and was sentenced for attempted possession of methamphetamine and false reporting here in Madison County District Court.

WAYNE — The visitors came away with a pair of white-knuckle wins as the Wayne State College men and women hosted Concordia St. Paul in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference basketball here at Rice Auditorium on Friday night.

HUMPHREY — After playing to an 18-all draw after one quarter, Humphrey St. Francis put on the afterburners and rolled over Elkhorn Valley 80-44 on Friday. It was the final regular-season game for both teams before next week's subdistricts.