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.