By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Town Clerk Carla Vitale has asked the Town Council to fund the purchase of new voting machines for the Town. At Tuesday night’s meeting, the council set a date for a public hearing on the machines for January 17. Vitale is seeking a transfer of $57,600 from the stabilization fund to the town clerk’s budget to purchase new voting machines.
The purchase will consist of eight voting tabulators and eight electronic poll pads. The new equipment will bring the Town up to date. Workers at the polls will find the $1,500 poll pads handy as they will be able to search for voters names remotely and access state information. In addition the machines will be able to back up data and they are self-contained. About 30 communities have the poll pads.
The machines used this past year on six elections in town were purchased in 2003. Vitale said the elections last year taxed an already outdated voting system. The next election is slated for the fall of this year.
“This will put Winthrop elections right where they need to be,” Vitale said. “This will bring us up to industry standards. The equipment needs to be upgraded every 10 years.”